Ponheary Ly Foundation Grads Prepare to Open Town’s First Computer School
By Travis Thompson
Deep in the countryside of northwest Cambodia, two Srayang Dorm students are about to do what no one has done in their town before–open a computer school.
Over the past few months, Srayang Dorm graduate Duon Phannak and Grade 9 student Neak Ravuth have joined forces with Ponheary Ly Foundation Canada to build the school from the ground up. Phannak and Ravuth were selected to work with PLF on this project after showing excellent achievement throughout their time studying Microsoft Office in the PLF tech lab at the dorm.
With funding for the Srayang Technology Center secured by PLF Canada, work began to enclose the bottom half of what is now the boys’ house in the dorm complex. Once the walls were up, workers laid tile, moved in desks , and installed additional solar power and electric wiring. Then, PLF’s tech team moved the computers that served as the dorm’s computer lab previously, to the new school. With the funding from PLF Canada, more computers have been added to the Center in preparation for it’s grand opening, now there are a total of 13 machines.
Srayang Technology Center will be open to the public, for a small fee per person, when it opens in July 2014. This is a first for the town which has virtually no computers (outside of Srayang Dorm). Phannak and Ravuth will teach Microsoft Office programs, in hopes that the school will become popular enough that it can be totally self-sufficient and provide full-time jobs and incomes for Phannak, Ravuth, and possibly future Srayang Dorm grads. The school also aims to provide technology education that will propel Srayang to develop businesses more quickly, filling market gaps that are ripe because of such a huge influx of tourists taking the newly paved road to Koh Ker temple.
The finishing touches at Srayang Technology Center involve a lot of work from Phannak and Ravuth as PLF’s field directors teach them how to score exams and exercises, how to record those scores electronically, and also how to record all other student information in spreadsheet formats so that it can be tracked by PLF’s office staff in Siem Reap.
Srayang Technology Center will also be the place that Srayang Dorm students continue their courses in Microsoft Office. Those students will of course continue to study at no cost to them.