It's been pouring rain this afternoon in Siem Reap. I gave up my bicycle and have been riding a motorbike for the past few days. This is the first day driving in the rain. Despite being soaked to the bone, I was able to make it back home safely.
Today started out quite early with a morning visit to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, but more commonly know by its acronym MOEYS in English. Shally and I made the 30-minute trip on his motorbike to file some paperwork for BEA. All went well, but we'll still have to make a few more trips in August.
The government offices are located on a compound-like area outside of Siem Reap. It's a bit far, but quite convenient because all the main offices are within walking distance of each other. On the way out, we passed the "Ministry of Religion and Cult". I didn't think anything was really wrong with the sign, but Shally pointed out that it should've read "Ministry of Religion and Culture". Whoever made the sign actually ran out of space, so he could only include c-u-l-t.
NGO Administration Training Program:
I spent most of my day at BEA today with Rie, our NGO Administration trainee who is participating in BEA's pilot NGO Administration Program. Yesterday, Rie learned about basic office management, consisting mostly of opening and closing student files. Today, she got a crash course in basic accounting. She got a pile of receipts that she had to categorize as fixed, variable and miscellaneous expenses and then design an excel spreadsheet to include all of these expenses. I really wish she was staying for more than two weeks because there's so much more I could give her to help us out, especially since we're preparing for our second school year. Regardless, I'll be meeting Rie for lunch tomorrow to evaluate her two-week training program. Once we make revisions, we're hoping to offer this training program to others who are interested in NGO administration. This will help BEA get some much needed funding to expand our school next year.
Final Tests for Semester 2:
While I was in the office for most of the day, Shally was running our final tests for semester two for all of our courses. Over the year, each student has had to complete six tests, which consists of a written and spoken test. The written test is spread out over two days: the first day is devoted to vocabulary and short-answer questions while the second day focuses on paragraph writing.
During the first part of the written test, students also have to complete a speaking evaluation. They are given guidelines on what to say, and then have two minutes to prepare their answer. Shally then evaluates their speaking ability based on fluency, pronunciation and grammatical accuracy. For example, for the final speaking test for the basic course, the student had to look at a series of pictures and then tell a story using the simple past tense.
Despite the pouring rain this afternoon, every single student showed up for today's test. I'm still amazed at their dedication to their studies.
Back to the books now...
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.