Set up in 2018, the sports programme at the Bayon Primary School has developed rapidly over the last two and a half years. Every week, our pupils practise different sports at school and participate in matches as well as an official regional school competition. Discover our champions’ exploits in pictures.
In February 2018, we decided to introduce weekly PE (Physical Education) lessons for the pupils from Grades 2-6 and recruited a qualified PE teacher; this was in line with our wish to offer a different pedagogical approach, based on the children’s individual needs (complimented by arts and crafts lessons) whilst expanding the traditional PE programme at the school. Since October 2018, we have extended the lessons to Grade 1 pupils. In order to continue to offer a high-quality PE programme, we also increased the number of hours in the weekly timetable 2019-20 from 40 minutes to one hour and 20 minutes.
Chuon Dorl is our qualified PE teacher, who followed a training program with the association Kampuchea Balopp, which promotes sport in Cambodia).
PE lessons are important as they allow our pupils to develop skills which are not always taught in the other subjects:
- Team spirit
- Self-confidence and the idea of surpassing oneself
- Value of hard work and effort
- Respect for others and compliance with the rules
- A sense of initiative and responsibility
- A senses of commitment.
These lessons are also the time for the children to let off steam and enjoy themselves whilst discovering different sports and fun activities.
At the beginning of the school year 2018, the primary pupils were all given a PE outfit of shorts and a T-Shirt, flocked with the logo of Bayon. These will be renewed in 2020. Furthermore, Bayon School has invested in the installation on the school premises of goalposts and a sand pit for athletics, as well as buying smaller items such as cones, bibs & balls. Thanks to these investments, the children can now try out all sorts of sports: football, volleyball, long jump, high jump, running.
In 2019, Bayon School participated, for the first time in its history, in the regional school championship, which was organised by the Government for various different sports: football, basketball, volleyball & athletics. Bayon had football teams in the Boys, Girls and Mixed Teams competition.
In 2020, Bayon participated once again but with more children; 30 pupils overall took part, with the Boys’ football team and the mixed athletics team competing in the high jump, long jump, sprint, running, relay and a type of Pentathlon. Before the big event, our champions underwent specific training sessions and participated in two football matches against other primary schools, both of which they won.
In 2020, and for the second year running, our football team unfortunately did not manage to get past the first round, but we are not giving up and are already preparing next year’s competition with great enthusiasm. Our Athletics team, on the other hand, was more successful in their first participation with excellent results:
- 1st Place in Boys Long Jump
- 3rd Place in Girls’ Relay
- 4th Place in Girls’ High Jump
- 4th Place in Girls’ Sprint
- 4th Place in Girls’ Running
The school championship is the only chance that many of our pupils have to participate in real competition conditions. It is most certainly a long-awaited event in the school calendar and they represent their school colours with tremendous pride. The popularity of the activities and the progression of the children in such a short time really underlines the importance of the sporting activities at the school and showcases its success.
For the school year 2020-21, Bayon School plans to continue investing in its sporting infrastructure, in particular a volleyball court, the renovation of the sand pit and the purchase of hurdles. In addition, we would like to register pupils in different sports in the school championship, giving more children the possibility to compete, the aim being of course to participate and have fun… whilst trying to bring home as many medals as possible!
It has now been close to four months that COVID-19 has spread across the planet. Even if Cambodia has officially registered very few cases and no deaths, the country has not been spared and its population is suffering from the loss of jobs and the lack of tourist activity. Bayon School is doing their best to help the families during this unprecedented crisis.
Support the families – The first urgency
Since mid-March, no tourist has been allowed to enter the country and the large majority of the hotels, restaurants and spas have closed, leaving thousands of workers with no jobs and no compensation from the Cambodian government. Many of our families have been affected, losing their primary source of income which allowed them to meet the basic needs of 8-10 people. Furthermore, the children who used to go to school were being fed breakfast and lunch at the canteen, one thing less for the parents or grandparents to provide. Now they are at home and need feeding by their families, adding an additional charge.
Faced with this critical situation, Bayon School reacted quickly. From Week 1, all the vegetables grown by the famers invested in the Green Project were bought by the NGO and then distributed free of charge to the parents of our pupils. This guaranteed a salary for these women farmers and the insurance that the children would continue to eat healthy vegetables. In addition, our social teams studied the families very closely and we started distributing rice to those in desperate need from the second week after the school closure. Special thanks to our donors and the company AMRU Rice for their precious support, which allowed us to finance the rice and vegetables.
Closure of the Pastry School and Coffee Shop – What happens next?
At the Pastry School, we had to send our 26 students back to their families and, as a result and out of obligation, close the shop. The Coffee Shop of the Bayon Pastry School, opened more than 4 years ago, covers 50 % of the budget required for the pastry/baking training programme. Its closure means a significant loss of income for the NGO, which we have been able, in part, to compensate through the generosity of our donors. After two weeks of adjustment and holidays for the catering staff, we put in place several projects in preparation for the re-opening: inventory, storage, planting in the gardens, painting the walls, Spring cleaning, … In the end, the team was very busy. In addition, Sokhouern and Sokly developed a brand-new range of bread with no fewer than 10 new references for sale in our future bakery. They had the time to test new recipes to ensure a wide range of products that we will be able to offer the hotels and restaurants once they can re-open. Finally, since the end of April, the teachers have put in place online lessons for our students, who, each day, receive videos and telephone calls to keep them up to date and help them revise their lessons.
Social follow-up, survey and report
Our social teams have been very committed during this period. They worked firstly on identifying the families with the most difficulties in order to help them in the best way possible. This crisis has also given us the possibility to take a big step back and analyse the impact of our actions on the children and their education. A further study was led with the alumni of the Pastry School, with the aim of updating the details of our former students, analyzing their career paths and reviewing their situation one to five years after graduating.
And our communication?
We have launched the huge undertaking of redoing the website for Bayon School. It will be revealed soon! And we are trying, as best we can, to stay in touch with all the friends of Bayon School, who, we know, stand by our side. An enormous thank you for your help which has allowed us to manage this crisis and help our families as much as possible. We hope to reopen the schools very soon and see again the happy, smiling faces of our pupils as they play outside.