Photo by: Uncle Thon
As education plays an essential role for children’s future, right to education has been protected by both international and domestic laws. In reality some children are sent to school while some are not able to fully access to right to education yet. Children are encouraged to go to school to seek for knowledge by their parents because their parents aware of education values, whereas some parents don’t know or ignore its importance. At the same time, minority of poor parents, who are not able to afford their lives properly, can’t send their children to school even they desire to do so.
The pictures above illustrate one tutor class in Kandal Province. The class was about grade 7 Mathematics, and because it is an extra class they have to pay teacher for 20,000 Riels (approximately $5) per months. Parents sometimes owe the payment, but their children still come to class, and teachers still teach them as usual. This kind of situation occurs as a result of understanding. Teachers said they cannot send students back home while those children try very hard to come to class. Teachers further told that they have no choices beside waiting until students’ parents have money to pay or teachers often insist them to pay if there is no payment for 2 or 3 months. Some students comes from poor family, but they are outstanding, so teachers cannot leave them out.
Knowing that poverty is an obstacle for smart and talent students bursts me into tear; however, seeing them smiling while studying gives me a feeling of joy, and a high hope of their bright future. Though this, although poverty give them a hard time to access to education, but I believe that understanding and encouragement, which come from family, society, and especially from teachers, are probably play as a sharp sword for those children to fight against that monster (poverty), and found their shining future.