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Teachers Get Tested Ahead of School Reopenings

Phnom Penh: Teachers at Harrods International Academy in Phnom Penh’s BKK 1 commune are undergoing rapid tests on Saturday morning as part of the process to secure final approval from the Ministry of Education to reopen. Rapid tests for teachers are being conducted at other secondary schools across the capital over the course of the next few days, with some 200 schools hoping to reopen their doors from Wednesday 15 September.

EAC News spoke to Harrods School Director, Philippa Barson on Friday. She says while the school was one of the first to submit its paperwork earlier this week, it is still waiting for final approval to reopen. While it would be in a position to reopen on Wednesday, Barson says the decision has been made to rather restart in-person classes from Monday 20 September, assuming that permission to do is obtained from the Ministry.

Barson says while almost seven months of closure have been a challenge, the time has allowed staff and children to adapt and learn new things:

“We have strengthened our home school partnerships. We’ve built trust with our parents, teachers and staff have vastly increased their professional and personal capacities and skills. The best thing though, is how our children have learnt over the last seven months. They have become more confident, self-reliant and they are more in charge of their own learning than ever before. Their attendance has remained high everyday and they are very happy learners. As you can see by our recent high-level competition wins at an international level, our students have overcome the challenges of distance learning and embraced it.”

EAC News also spoke to some high school students in the capital on Friday who say they’re excited to get back to class over the course of the next week and start interacting once again with their friends, many of whom they have not seen since the first week of March.

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