When our children reached the age of three, Sovann Komar established a kindergarten onsite. It was called the Orange Elephant School and provided early learning classes and mental stimulation for our budding students. With brightly coloured classrooms, lots of books and toys and regular lessons in both English and Khmer, our children received a rare commodity in Cambodia: a preparatory education. This early learning time period has been proven to be both crucial and incredibly valuable when it comes to learning at higher levels and our children were lucky to have received this as most government schools in Cambodia do not start until children are six.
Over time, this school developed alongside our children and steadily our classes rose according to their grade level. We also had a few children from a local poor community who came to learn at Sovann Komar for free and this set the ball in motion for our school to expand further as our children aged out of the system. Every year, children from the local community would begin to attend our school, following in the footsteps of the Sovann Komar children. We now provide top quality, affordable education to over 300 local students and our first intake will graduate in July 2017.
Most of the Sovann Komar children now study outside of Sovann Komar. Both for education and socialisation reasons, it was important for them to attend high schools in Phnom Penh where they are able to interact with other children and receive higher level teaching. Our children attend three different schools according to ability: Paññāsāstra International School, Beltei School and Westline School. Many of the children who attend Beltei, which is a half-day school, are enrolled in a study class within Sovann Komar as well.
We have some very high achieving students attending Sovann Komar and a number of the students at Paññāsāstra International School have won English scholarships. Several children at Beltei have also been honoured for their skills in speaking, spelling and English.