Home » A Transformative Partnership: Cambodia and Thailand Bring the Bamboo School Model to Life

A Transformative Partnership: Cambodia and Thailand Bring the Bamboo School Model to Life

by Surya Narayan
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In an exciting collaboration between Cambodia and Thailand, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) Cambodia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mechai Bamboo School to introduce the Bamboo School model to Cambodia. This innovative and transformative project will be implemented in partnership with SEVA (Socio-Economic Vision Alliance), Population and Community Development Association (PDA), Prime Road Alternative (Cambodia) Co., Ltd and the Bamboo School, with the aim of revolutionizing the education system in two Cambodian state schools.

This project also demonstrates a positive relationship between the private sector and civil society in their efforts to improve state schools and enhance educational opportunities for underserved communities. Prime Road Alternative (Cambodia) Co., Ltd, a prominent player in the renewable energy sector, has taken on the role of the primary sponsor for this project. Through this partnership, the company is demonstrating its commitment to corporate social responsibility initiatives while continuing to increase access to affordable power in Cambodia and promoting clean energy. 

The Ochrov district in Poipet, Banteay Meanchey Province, will serve as the foundation for this pilot project. The Sameki Meanchay School and the Santepheap School will benefit from the Bamboo School model, which is renowned for its unconventional approach to education. By infusing elements of community service, environmental stewardship, and self-sufficiency, the Bamboo School creates a holistic and empowering learning environment for students from diverse backgrounds.

One of the remarkable aspects of the Mechai Bamboo School is its commitment to instilling a sense of responsibility and discipline in its students. Instead of traditional tuition fees, students and their parents contribute by planting 800 trees and performing 800 hours of community service annually. This not only fosters a strong connection to nature but also encourages students to actively engage in the betterment of their communities.

Aesthetically, the Bamboo School is a breathtaking sight. The campus features a vibrant blend of bamboo, trees, plants, and water, creating a natural oasis of calm and serenity. The use of bamboo in constructing various facilities, such as classrooms, libraries, and dormitories, adds an earthy warmth to the verdant surroundings. The school’s commitment to eco-friendly practices is evident through its use of solar-powered lights, aerating fountains, biogas production from food and waste, and even drinking water extracted from bamboo trees.

With a focus on self-sufficiency, the Mechai Bamboo School goes beyond conventional education by equipping students with essential life skills. Students are actively involved in various tasks, from agricultural work and animal husbandry to making their own household products. This hands-on approach prepares them for the realities of adulthood and empowers them to become self-reliant individuals.

“I am thrilled to be leading this exciting project in collaboration with Thailand and the Mechai Bamboo School. Through the Bamboo School model, we aim to inspire and empower our students to become active agents of change, working towards a sustainable and prosperous future for Cambodia. I am confident that this partnership will spark a revolution in education and community development, one that will benefit our students and their families for generations to come.” – H.E Samheng Boros, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister, Cambodia and Founder / President of SEVA (Socio-Economic Vision Alliance).

What truly sets the students of the Bamboo School apart is their determination, empathy, and sense of purpose. From a young age, these students are encouraged to dream big and develop goal-oriented mindsets. They are taught critical thinking skills, allowing them to question and analyze information instead of passively accepting it. The school’s emphasis on empathy and compassion is evident through activities that promote understanding and support for people with disabilities, as well as engagement in community development projects.

Beyond just educating students, the Mechai Bamboo School seeks to catalyze sustainable socio-economic development in the surrounding communities. Students actively engage with local villagers, providing training in business and agricultural skills, hygiene, and water sanitation. The school also aims to extend its impact by supporting over 200 schools in Thailand, making a chain of lifelong learning centers and development hubs accessible to all.

Recognized by the United Nations as one of the most innovative school models in the world and with its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Bamboo School is at the forefront of creating positive change. Students actively participate in projects aligned with the SDGs, working with community members to address the targets and indicators. By adopting a practical and hands-on approach to these goals, the Mechai Bamboo School empowers students to believe in their unlimited potential and possibilities.

The partnership between Cambodia and Thailand to implement the Bamboo School model is a testament to their dedication to transformative education and sustainable development. By bringing together the best elements of nature, innovation, and community engagement, this collaboration promises to shape the future leaders of Cambodia, empowering them to create lasting change and improve the lives of their communities.

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