October 1, 2014 | About Asia Travel
Not-for-profit bespoke tour experiences and support for 53,000 school children – from the Siem Reap-based travel and education experts.
With government funding to schools in Cambodia as low as $1.75 per child per year, ABOUTAsia Schools fills a void in educational support via its five programmes, outlined below, funded by 100% of profits from tailormade tour specialists, ABOUTAsia Travel. As the dry season approaches, clients are booking private tours to peaceful temples, helicopter rides over Angkor, a Khmer feast at a new villa in the countryside and similar exclusive experiences, happy in the knowledge that they will contribute to sustaining vital support for the future of Cambodia’s children.
Here’s an introduction to ABOUTAsia Schools’ five programmes:
Measuring up for the new term – by law, Cambodian children must wear a uniform to be able attend school but $6 a pop is simply too much for many parents to afford. At this time every year, ABOUTAsia Schools provides hundreds of school uniforms to children so that they can begin their studies. Additional supplies, from pencils, chalk and paper, to books, desks and computers, are also regularly topped up by ABOUTAsia Schools.
English classes – under the supervision of education expert Sarah Pycroft, the ABOUTAsia Schools English Programme provides a much-needed English curriculum in primary schools for students aged 6-14 years. 19 Cambodian English teachers teach 50 free classes between them daily, supplying textbooks and assessing children throughout, with a view to children sitting the Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) exam.
Teacher Training Academy – launched in May 2013, the Academy aims to help local teachers improve their skills – from engagement, motivation and assessment to planning, marking and classroom management. The support is ongoing – teachers are invited to attend monthly specialist 1-5 day training sessions led by international leading practitioners and there is potential for progression, as teachers can go on to train new teachers in turn.
Learning Centres – opened in February 2014, this pilot learning centre has been a huge success. Children come here to read in the library, study textbooks, make handicrafts or play sport. A Cambodian English teacher holds English classes at the centre twice a day, with classes attended by around 70 children daily. ABOUTAsia Schools plans to open more Learning Centres in due course.
Volunteer programme – relish the chance to make a real difference to the education of a Cambodian school child, and add depth to your Cambodian experience. Undertake four days of intensive cultural and teacher training before committing to at least one month of volunteer teaching in the classroom. Pay just $200 towards the four-day training programme and ABOUTAsia Schools will supply a bicycle to cut out transport costs to and from school.
ABOUTAsia Travel makes all of the above possible…and here are some of the compelling travel options that its experts suggest:
Let locally-resident scientists and scholars lead you on an exquisite and exclusive journey through Cambodia. Venture into the lesser-visited countryside and avoid the crowds of Angkor (private and peaceful tours are based on research and footfall surveys).Visit a locals’ night fair, be guided on a rural hike by a cartographer and entomologist, or discover the architecture of Phnom Penh with a local student. Take a one-night trip across the Tonle Sap Lake and rise at dawn to catch the brilliant birdlife and, on terra firma, stay in four or five-star accommodation in the cities, on the coast or on a private island.
Note to editors: ABOUTAsia was founded by British Andy Booth with two aims in mind: (1) to provide visitors to Cambodia with memorable, meaningful travel experiences, and (2) to ensure that tourism provides a positive impact for the future of Cambodia’s children.
ENDS/30 September 2014
Press enquiries: Mika Bishop, Travel PR, tel: 020 8891 4440; email: firstname.lastname@example.org