Liger Learning Center

I had the great opportunity to tour the grounds and talk to both staff and students at the learning center out side of Phnom Penh. I don’t have any personal pictures, as per protocol for the center, but the grounds where amazing, a wonderful campus only outshined by the students. The center is set apart from other “schools” as it doesn’t try to apply the typical k-12 class method, but instead to the goal is to foster “change againts”. Building on natural curiosity, the students are led through “explorations”: dynamic learning courses presented by the teaching specialist, to grow critical thinking and encourage collaboration and awareness to the complex interconnectedness of the ever-modernizing world. The kids are presented with the explorations, but it is their own interests that guide the learning. The center was founded in 2012, and just this year took on a new group of kids they call the juniors. It is a live-in campus, with senior class having their own apartments, arranged by gender and made up of three to four students per unit. They are responsible for everything from cooking and cleaning to delegating choirs and solving interpersonal problems. They aren’t left completely on their own but given great deal of freedom with the knowledge of the responsibility to what that freedom is. The junior class, are now learning basic cooking and living skills as well as English amongst other studies. All the kids are extremely bright, the juniors for instance blew me away with their grasp of English in such a short time (they had been studying from august till February and they had a strong conversational level), as well as the seniors willingness and eagerness to talk about the explorations they were working on. The projects that the seniors were doing where nothing less then amazing and inspiring. One group was working on an actual local problem of a garbage pile. Researching into not just how to get the waste company to out for pick up instead of the common practice of burning the rubbish, but taking it further and how they can come up with their own “company” and business plan. This isn’t just an imaginary idea, they try to implement their plans, and are currently learning about composting, how to draw local farmers into recycling their organic waste to trade for composted soil, as well as making their own composting barrels & designing their own recycling center… another group were devolving a board game, created to teach students about climate change but taken a step further to act as a study aid for the “government schools” standardized test, beginning at grade eight on up to twelfth. They were currently trying to find the most eco and cost effective way, as well as aesthetic and design to the board game, that is a lay out of Cambodia as well as making a basic set up that can have interchangeable cards to suit the needs of the students playing, and to actually be implemented and used outside the center. The last group I talked with were learning about film: everything from acting, directing, and editing. They will be participating in the Phnom Penh “international” student film festival. The “international” part is of that most of the students involved have been apart of the private “international” schools that leave out most government access schools. The liger students however won’t just be making their own films but are seeking student from the local government schools, to help teach and guide their peers. Clearly these kids practice what it is to be agents of change.




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