New Life School, curriculum

New Life School's logo

New Life School’s logo

The New Life School

guillemet The New Life School (NLS) school program is a humanitarian aid program founded in January 2012 by a group of Buddhist monks and lay Cambodians.

This group of people, as the name of the school suggests, had expressed a desire to improve the educational system in their country, starting from what they had before them : a free ground in their pagoda.

Geographically, the An Kau Saa pagoda is located in the heart of Siem Reap, 500 meters from the commercial trendy streets and close to the National Museum of Angkor. It’s one of the most famous pagoda of Siem Reap, at the gateway to the temples of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the north-western region of the country, and at about 315 km from its capital, Phnom Penh.

Located at the front of the east wing of the An Kau Saa Pagoda, the school was originally made of 2 classes, one inside, was the Informatics computer class which will become soon a library, and one outside, was the English class.

guillemet NLS wish is to provide an indispensable complement of education to the children and adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds living in the city of Siem Reap and surrounding villages. They first began by setting up English and computer courses, by recycling abandoned supplies and repairing old computers.

In this school, classes are given at the end of the afternoon, following the timetables of the public school, and now offering, in addition to English and French classes, Civic and Social classes, and Buddhist morality on Fridays. The Informatics classes, despite their real necessity, are off, until we will get new computers.

As the seasons goes by, the number of children began to grow, and monastic students, including the founder Venerable VORN Saven, started to use the ground floor of a wooden building on stilts, one of the buildings used as a dormitory for the student monks of the pagoda.

With the help of the first volunteers, they were able to build tables and benches with wooden boards, and they raise sufficient funds to buy two large whiteboards.
The ground was rebuilt and solidified thanks to the contribution of a couple of generous donors, Sharon and King, but now the whole building is degraded and is suffering from the ravages of monsoons and other violent tropical storms.

The same space is now divided into 4 classes, in order to welcome all the children.

The NLS School has enjoyed considerable esteem among the local population, and some of the first students are now working in sectors like hotels and catering, have become tourist guides in Angkor Wat, or even entered Business schools.

A monk teaching English

A monk teaching English

The Library

guillemet The NLS library has outdated textbooks, novels, children’s books and dictionaries have been graciously offered by volunteers and donors, but the section lacks consistency.

Educational manuals in the Khmer language are virtually non-existent and books expensive, but with the help of donators, Orange Heart began to provide it with brand new adapted books.

Children learn by observing others, but they are also more and more in the NLS to attend its library, and even if most of them end up dreaming or playing with each other, they still take the habit of choosing their book, keeping it open in front of them and browsing it with interest.

NLS is really keen to promote reading as a healthy and playful activity, known to be an excellent stimulant of the imagination and that participates in developing a critical mind.

New Life School - Curriculum

NLS Program

Structure of the school

Renovation of the school: we would like the whole building to gain an energetic independence.

  • Rebuilding the 4 classrooms
  • Reinforcement of the current structure (waterproofing of the floors and consolidation of the framework).
  • Set up an autonomous ecological power supply
  • Purchase of school furniture

Structure of the library

Renovation of the library

  • Transformation of the library into a multifunctional room (office / library / free for student informatic disposal)
  • Repainting walls (interior and exterior)
  • Purchase of environmentally friendly paints and coatings
  • Purchase and replacement of furniture
  • Purchase of computer hardware
  • Acquisition of textbooks, school books (in Khmer version), books of discoveries and fictions (foreign languages), extracurricular, dictionaries, exhaustive background on Cambodia and Asia

The library is open from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
It is secured and monitored by a senior monk of the An Kau Saa pagoda.

Classes and Workshops

English and French classes * (beginner and intermediate level)

  • Purchase of methodological manuals and dictionaries French / Khmer, English / Khmer

* Courses are taught every day from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm by Cambodian teachers, graduates and experienced

Moral, civic and social instruction classes *

  • Purchase of adapted textbooks and pedagogical and methodological support materials

* Course given by a student monk of the An Kau Saa pagoda, last year voluntary and qualified (Specialization in morality and history)

Hygiene Education *

  • Purchase and installation of washbasins for girls and boys, installation of an autonomous ecological water supply (rainwater recovery system)
  • Purchase and construction of 2 dry toilets **

* Workshops taught by one or more volunteers, graduates and experienced, chosen after interview and evaluation

** Work carried out with the help of field volunteers, as well as the employment of Cambodian construction craftsmen (purchase of tools and tools, if necessary)

Physical education (through the teaching of Yoga) *

  • Purchase of yoga mats

* Courses given by a volunteer, graduate and experienced volunteer, chosen after interview and evaluation

The Educational Garden

  • Introduction to ecological gestures and basic principles of natural healing (naturopathy) *
  • Purchase of plants and seeds, gardening equipment, gloves, first aid kit

* Courses taught by a volunteer voluntary degree and experienced, chosen after interview and evaluation

Art classes / Creative workshops *

  • Purchase of 2 exhibition grids, school materials for creations (glue, paint, felts …)
  • Buying a Video / Stereo System

* Workshops taught by one or more volunteers, graduates and experienced, chosen after interview and evaluation

Kids supplies

  • Purchase of basic school materials (pens, pencils and pencil sizes, erasers, notebooks and textbooks)
  • Annual medical visit, to ensure a clear follow-up of children growth

The curriculum as well as the contents of the courses and workshops will be defined according to the observation and needs expressed by the actors of education and the response of the children.

English translation: Vanessa Cabaleira
Photos: Geoff Greenwood

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