I had a fun morning a couple of weeks back when going out to visit the Bamboo Shoots school preparation program in villages behind the temples of the Angkor complex in Angkor Thom District.
The program aims to prepare children to enter the public school system by teaching them hygiene and basic school manners for how to act in a classroom. They have had a very good success rate with many of the children going on to enter the public school. The ages of the children range from 3-7 or 8 years old, with a few young teenagers who have never attended school before.
Started by a local couple who had been working with the Rajana group, the schools have been funded by donations from a couple of German churches among other assistance. It is easy to envision the benefit of this kind of education, but convincing the parents to fully support it is not always the case as they often need the children to care for the youngest siblings while the parents go to work in the fields. Despite this, the children seem to really enjoy the time spent at school.