4th intake at the pastry
school: mid-term assessment.

The pastry school students are halfway through their training year – a good time for us to take a look on how the 4th intake is doing. To that end, we interviewed the two people responsible for their education: Marie (English, Maths, IT and Business teacher) and Sokhoeurn (Pastry teacher).
Teaching to Khmer people was a first for Marie. It is not always a simple exercise but Marie enjoys it a lot. Every subject she teaches gives her the opportunity to discover a new side of the Khmer culture and she gets to know more about her students.
To teach IT, she had to start from the simplest task – like turning the computer on. Indeed, the students come very poor backgrounds and some of them had never seen a computer before. Imagine the girls’ difficulties during the maps exercise; they had trouble understanding how their village could be represented in a digital space…


The girls however love this subject and some even start using computers during their spare time to find out about the latest football score from Battambang team or to discover new recipes. Other topic, other source of excitement; the maths class just ended, to the students’ endless pleasure!
Regarding English, their level remains basic but they are getting better week after week. They start using the past tense. While grammar remains the biggest part of the program, Marie also focuses on the Coffee Shop training – a workshop in which the students have to practice speaking to the customers while using their work vocabulary. It is also a great way to boost their self-confidence.

For Sokhoeurn, teaching politeness and good manners is also key. Her classes are divided into two main topics: pastry theory (in class) and pastry practice (in the kitchen). Sokhoeurn often tells her students, “Even if I am your teacher, I keep learning by your side and it is my best success”. Hence, her priorities are that the students acquire the proper techniques while taking a lot of pleasure learning pastry.
Sokhoeurn feels that this year, there are a lot of disparities amongst the students. She plans to set-up a prep class next year before the school year actually starts. It will help the students feel more prepared with the vocabulary and their new home. Our Pastry chef confessed that many of our students were really surprised by all the buttons in the kitchen or even by the flush of their toilets. On top of increasing their confidence, this prep training will allow them to start the year at the same level.
Overall, at this stage of the year, both Marie and Sokhoeurn feel that, despite being very different, all the students will be able to pass their exam in June.
, 14 March 2018