We're back after a short summer break! Well, actually, it hasn't been a break for Shally and I because we've been dealing with administrative and technical matters for the entire month. Regardless, we have some great news to share with you.
First of all, we are incredibly happy to announce that BEA has received accreditation from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS) as an official academic institution in Cambodia. This is a huge step forward for BEA because it means we can now issue our own certificates for our programs. Students will then get more recognition for all their hard work, which in turn, will help them have a better chance of getting a good job since they have an official certificate proving their skills.
Furthermore, this will hopefully give us greater access to funding opportunities as an accredited educational institution. Many of the larger grant applications often require schools to issue certificates, so we now can apply for these types of grants.
At the moment, we are finishing up the design of our certificate. Once that is done, the Deputy Minister just has to sign-off on the design, and we can award certificates to students who went through the 2010-11 BEA program.
If you're interested, you can see our certificate design at the end of this posting.
Curriculum Revisions and New Course:
We're also revising our Basic and Pre-Intermediate courses from the 2010-11 school year. Shally and I spent about a week discussing and making changes to the different parts of our programs. The major changes that we'll be making to our program will include:
(1) having one-week for conducting the written and speaking tests during the semester;
(2) having one-week to complete and present task-based learning projects;
(3) decreasing semester tests from three small ones to two large ones;
(4) decreasing task-based learning projects from three to two during each semester;
(5) and introducing TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) at the beginning of semester 1 and at the end of semester 2;
(6) and adding an Intermediate language program, which means we'll be offering four courses now (Basic, Pre-Intermeidate A, Pre-Intermediate B, and Intermediate)
The reasons for decreasing some of the course work was to give the students more time to work on their project, and to also give Shally more time to evaluate students' speaking abilities. Since I am starting to write up formal research paper this year, we also needed to measure the students' abilities compared to international averages, so this was the reasoning behind introducing the TOEIC test. For the teachers out there, don't worry, we definitely won't be "teaching towards the test". We just need international accredited test scores so that we can show that our program actually contributes to improving the English language abilities of our students.
Donation from David and Zaiga Dewar:
Finally, my father emailed last night to tell me that he and my mother had just sent a donation to our school's bank account for $2500US. This came as such a surprise, and as a welcome relief! We had only enough funds to cover BEA until the end of September, so now we're covered until the end of November. Thank you so much!!!!
As usual, there is always much more I can write about, but I'll save it for the upcoming week.
Back to the books....
The Bayon English Academy (BEA) is an NGO school that provides underprivileged youth with quality English language education in a safe, clean environment in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
P.S. Below you can see the frame of our certificates!