After about 5 min warm up, children were going wild. I couldn’t get to the tables to help them with activities or see what they do. I knew it was the moment, when I can take a break. Their action was speaking for itself: children loved XOs and Sugar!
I went to see inside the school. There were several neat classrooms with wooden desks. A whole group of children followed me and I took their pictures with my camera.
There is a garden by the school where locals grow vegetables. Breakfast is served for all pupils in the morning. I saw a water pump and outside oven, which were also built by the Project. I brought one hand crank with me and gave it to Sarith. Immediately the hand crank was tested and approved by the men, who said it is a good physical exercise.
It looked like both Roger and Sarith marveled at how popular computers are and how quickly children get comfortable with them and look for more to learn, and get super excited. Normally quiet and reserved, kids were curious, active and experimenting.
As we all decided, it is not just a computer, it is a school and a play station in a box. And children like it as there is no punishment if you do something wrong, it just will not work. Roger, as a psychologist, thinks that while working on the XO, children better develop their problem solving skills. While teaching Sugar, I noticed better collaboration results among children.
It is true that Khmer culture is very traditional and often initiative, different thinking and innovation are not welcomed or encouraged. That is why very often people are not willing to go beyond what they have to do. But we think that with new ways of teaching it is possible to change.
We visited the sewing shop and I took a picture of both Roger and Sarith, when they were giving annual bonuses to the sewing girls.
If you are looking for a place to donate your money to, the Khmer school project is the place to do it. From what I’ve seen, every single dollar goes to the Khmer people in need and their children http://khmerschool.com/Site/Donate.html