This is Chhem Daro. He is 22 years old. He grew up in a little village called Som Roung, just 20km outside of the capital, Phnom Penh, in Cambodia. Daro has one brother and three sisters. Daro first learnt to speak English at a Khmer house as well as at high school. It was the teachers at the Khmer house and high school that taught him English. He attended Som Roung high school from 2010 to 2013. There was about 40/45 students in his class throughout High School. He was 12 years of age when he began studying English. Only two out of Daro’s four siblings are continuing with their English studies, his brother and one of his sisters. Neither of Daro’s parents speaks English. They are both farmers. Both of his parents encouraged him to learn foreign languages, particularly English as they themselves are less educated. They don’t want Daro to become a farmer like themselves. They inspire him to learn and support him through University so he has the chance at achieving greater opportunities in life.
He has many hobbies such as reading, listening to the radio, doing assignments and finally going on walks to the rice fields to check on his cow. Chhem Daro attended SCAO II as a student. He then proceeded to go on to high school where he continued learning English daily. After Daro graduated from high school his then became a Khmer assistant teacher at SCAO II in Som Roung Village. He did not need to complete an official exam to become an assistant teacher at SCAO II but he had to undergo a training course studying English for one and a half years for his current position in the school. Chhem must keep updating this training course for his classes to ensure that he is up to date the new standards required. This is done usually every three months but it may vary depending on the teaching.
Daro teaches English at the school and now he is teaching Maths too. He teaches at the school Monday to Friday for one and a half hours each day. His classes usually take place in the evening around 5pm.ABC basic grammar (low level) and intermediate are the level he teaches. The students must take exams every month in his class. This will determine when they are ready to move up a level in the school or if they seem to be finding some things more difficult than others. Usually it takes just less than one year for students to move up a level in school. Daro said around 70% of his students move up a level within a year. His favourite thing about SCAO is that he loves teaching. He likes to show good example for the children so as to improve and better the lives they live.
Daro enjoys working on community projects, for example the toilet and water filter projects. Another great thing he enjoys about SCAO is getting to meet new people such as the volunteers and being able to share stories and experiences about the different countries and cultures. Chhem Daro attends university during the day. He studies International Relations at Panasastra University of Cambodia. The course in four years long in total and Daro has just completed his first year. Daro loves the course he is studying at university. In his course at university he learns about things such as food security and social welfare. After university Daro would love to work in the government as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He hopes to be able to set up an organisation similar to SCAO in the future. He would like to offer studying English to students, he would also like the organisation to offer facilities to the students such as a home-stay and that they would receive meals at the organisation too.
He believes education is extremely important as it helps people to think more clearly. It can improve family, society and life in general. He said that the education students receive at SCAO can give a clearer picture of the world. English in particular is used for better communication and enables more research to be done and understood globally. In his opinion by learning English it allows one to understand more and in order to improve as a whole it is better to know another language. Daro also said that his country gets many ideas from European countries which helps improve his country. He will continue to keep studying English and improving. He also has a keen interest in learning French as his grandfather used to speak it but at the moment he is too busy with university, SCAO and family life.