News and Stories - Education - 29th October 2019

From little things, big things grow

From little things, big things grow

Transforming education with Learning Gardens

In Cambodian primary schools, teachers are swapping classrooms for Learning Gardens, taking their lessons (and their students) into the great outdoors – and it’s thanks to your support!

In Siem Reap and Stung Treng provinces, students learn science and math amongst the veggies and vines, in their Plan International supported Learning Gardens.

It’s a groundbreaking approach to education in Cambodia, inspired by renowned Australian chef Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden program, and it’s having a positive impact, not only on children’s learning and nutrition, but the health of the wider community.

Through the project, children improve their knowledge and learn healthy attitudes towards eating, alongside their usual math, science, social studies and literacy lessons, which they then pass on to their families (along with some fresh produce, straight from the Learning Garden!). Girls and boys also have opportunities to try new roles, such as cooking in the kitchen, which challenges traditional notions of what boys and girls are capable of achieving.

Our CEO Susanne Legena recently visited the Learning Garden project at a school in Trapaing Svay where she spoke to students and teachers about how the garden has changed the way they learn and teach.“It was wonderful to witness how the Learning Garden brings the students’ lessons to life.” She says. “The local team is so dedicated and the program’s positive outcomes aren’t going unnoticed – not only is the wider community seeing the value, but the government is too.”

 

“In classroom, I do not get to see real things. I only learn the theory. Learning garden helps me understand the lessons better because I get a chance to practice. For example, when I learn about measurements, I can practice it in the learning garden.”

– ChhorKeo, Grade 4 student (11 years old)

 

 “I hope students get life skills like growing vegetables and cooking and can use them in their daily lives. The learning garden strengthens cooperation among students, gives them life skills, engages them in working together, and gives them attractive and fresh environment to learn.”

– Kancha, teacher

Grade 4 students and their teacher Chou Sony proudly showcase some of the vegetables they’ve grown in the school Learning Garden
Grade 4 students and their teacher Chou Sony proudly showcase some of the vegetables they’ve grown in the school Learning Garden
Seyha and Sreyna collect fresh vegetables in the Learning Garden, gathering all the ingredients needed to cook Samlor Broheu, a river fish soup with a mix of vegetables and herbs
Seyha and Sreyna collect fresh vegetables in the Learning Garden, gathering all the ingredients needed to cook Samlor Broheu, a river fish soup with a mix of vegetables and herbs
The finished product – freshly cooked soup from their kitchen learning session
The finished product – freshly cooked soup from their kitchen learning session

This project was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and complemented with funds generously donated to Plan International Australia from the Australian public. It is supported by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

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