Reading in schools
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Reading in schools

Support the implementation of the national school library policy at different levels of education.

For 28 years, Sipar has been creating and developing school library projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia, leading to the institutionalization of the program at national level as well as the establishment of a national library policy in primary schools.

libraries in primary school Sipar Cambodialibraries in primary school Sipar Cambodia

School libraries are now recognized as a complementary and vital resource for programmes, reinforcing pupil learning and developing their curiosity and creativity.

On the strength of this collaboration, Sipar is continuing its action in the school field:

  • In 2019 and 2020, in order to expand library collections and satisfy the curiosity of the young readers, Sipar has planned to provide each of the 300 primary libraries with 100 new books. In 2019, 115 schools benefited from book donations thanks to several donors, and the other 185 libraries will be restocked in 2020.
  • In nursery schools : to compensate for the lack of educational material in community nursery schools run by the communities and parents – Sipar sets up reading corners and provides technical support to the educators.
  • In primary schools : today our main aims are to reinforce school library standards and to train librarians. Sipar is also continuing its work together with the NGO Room to Read and SVA (Shanti Volunteer Association), to support the Primary Training and Program Development Departments of the MEJS to achieve and disseminate school library standards throughout the country, enabling primary school principals and parent-teacher  committees to have common criteria for setting up and running  a library in their school.
  • In secondary schools : Sipar and the Program Development Department  of MEJS have set up a network of 9 school reference libraries to support and encourage initiatives to create libraries in other secondary schools.
  • Provincial pedagogical schools (training centers for future primary school teachers) : In order to encourage the love of reading and to make books an effective pedagogical tool, Sipar has been working in collaboration with Teacher Training College (TTC) since 2005. From 2005 to 2010, with the support of the European Union, Sipar designed a curriculum to train teacher-trainees on school libraries and children’s literature, to enable them to promote reading amongst their students and encourage children to visit the library. In 2019, thanks to the support of Smart Axiata, Sipar provided 6,000 books to 1,500 1st and 2nd year student teachers.
  • We also continued, at the request of local educational authorities, the construction of schools in remote areas of Cambodia. In 2019, thanks to loyal donors, Sipar built a new school building with 5 classrooms at Damnak Thnuong primary school (Pursat province), one of which will house the library.

  • We observed that many young people in rural areas lack information about their career and study options after leaving high school. From 2019, Sipar decided to launch Vocational Orientation Corners in secondary schools libraries. The first one was launched in March 2019 at Hun Sen Kraing Sramo High School (Kampong Chhnang), with the support of the Can Sport Shoes factory. More than 1,000 high school students now have access to printed and digital resources to guide them in their choice of careers and university majors. In addition, the school was the first to participate in career forums in partnership with Smart Axiata as well as career information sessions organized with the textile training center (CGTI) and the Don Bosco Training Center.

    Following the success of this pilot project, in 2020, Sipar planned to extend this initiative to other high schools, equipping the vocational orientation corner with a mobile digital lab (Nomad Lab) developed by the NGO Passerelles Numériques Cambodia, partner of the project.

nursery schools Sipar in Cambodianursery schools Sipar in Cambodia

A few figures

  • 13 reading corners in nursery schools
  • 301 libraries in primary schools (200 000 beneficiaries)
  • 36 school buildings by Sipar between 1996 and 2019
  • 9 reference libraries
  • Support for 19 provincial pedagogical schools
  • 1 New Library and 1st Vocational Orientation Corner (VOC) with 2 000 materials for 1 000 students


See the video in Kirisovanavong school

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Chinn Vuthy, Grade 12th Student

“Thanks to the forum, I now know that it is possible to find a job and benefit from the SMART scholarships to support my studies and help me grow. I feel much more ready for the future now!”



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