While imagination, creativity and personal expression are a fantastic way for children to grow and express their sense of critic, as well as look at other subjects through a new perspective, those qualities tend to be left out of the Cambodian education system. To address this, Bayon School has implemented artistic subjects, including plastic arts, in the 2018-2019 school year programme.
Split into 2 groups (grades 1 to 3 and grades 4 to 6), 80 pupils are now taking part in arts classes for about one and a half hour each week.
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Each session focuses on one theme such as Halloween or the solar system. Creating a solar system model has been a great way for children to get to know more about other planets and become aware that we are surrounded by a universe that is much bigger than we are! The pupils have also been working with diverse materials beyond conventional paper sheets. For example, through the “plastic fish” workshop they made fish upcycling plastic bottles, and during the “plastic meadow” workshop they had fun turning plastic bags into flowers. Those workshops respond to our awareness programme aiming to educate the students on environmental issues and recycling, in response to the significant level of pollution in Cambodia. Respect of nature, wildlife and water and fight against disposable plastic are then themes that are we can further approach through those artistic activities.
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The arts course has been very successful so far, with children proving to be very attentive and inspired by the weekly themes. Throughout the sessions, we’ve noticed they’re increasingly expressing their creativity and imagination and don’t longer necessarily need to follow templates. This is a breakthrough as the Cambodian education system is based on following and replicating what teachers ask pupils to do. The children are also now taking more and more initiatives and helping each other – with older students helping younger ones e.g. for precise cutting or explaining the teachers’ instructions when a student was late. The arts course is having a positive impact on other, more conventional classes during which teachers have also noticed this change in pupils’ behaviour.
The art course will run throughout the whole 2018-2019 school year, with more exciting activities including salt dough modelling, origami and wool tassels-making. We’re looking forward to seeing the children continue to thrive in those activities – follow them on Bayon School’s social media channels.
, 27 December 2018