The Tabitha School Program
As our families achieve their dreams through the Family Savings programs, the needs and desires of people change from basic needs such as daily food to dreams of providing an education for their children. When a community reaches that stage of development, the families approach the Tabitha staff and request a school. The reasons are as follows:
1. To build a school where there was no school
2. To build a school that is to replace a building that is no longer useable
3. To build additional classrooms in a school that is too small to accommodate all the students
4. To build a middle school where middle schools are not available.
This program relies on close cooperation between Tabitha Cambodia, the local communities, the provincial government and the national government (via the Ministry of Education). It is based on the fact that there is an acute shortage of schools, particularly in rural areas.
Understanding this situation, Tabitha Cambodia builds and equips schools, and then passes ownership and the responsibility for the running of these schools – including the supply of teachers – to the government through the Ministry of Education.
Main Steps in the Program
i)Tabitha Cambodia liaises with the Village, Commune and District chiefs and a representative of the Ministry of Education.
ii) A wealthy villager often donates land for a school (or if there is a run-down school, this land is used).
iii) The land is transferred to the national government and ear-marked for a school.
iv) Tabitha Cambodia seeks funding for the planned school.
v) Once funding is received, Tabitha Cambodia arranges for local contractors to build the school (with support from local villagers)
vi) When complete, the school is gifted to the national government to run and maintain.
What Does Tabitha Provide?
• School building
• Desks for students
• Desks for teachers
• A well
• Metal flagpole
What Does the Government Provide?
• Text books
What Does the Community Provide?
• Labour to assist carrying materials to the building site and during construction
• Accommodation and other support for the teachers assigned to their school
Number of Children Attending School
Depending on the needs and the funds available, schools either have 3, 6 or 12 classrooms. Often smaller schools are built with the expectation that they will be extended when further funds become available.
On average, there are 80 children in each classroom. Attendance is maximized by having a morning class of children followed by an afternoon class of different children.