Junior Writers Reporting

“Cambodia International Exchange Project” creates textbook to support education in Cambodia

About 60 students at the Hiroshima University of Economics, located in Asaminami Ward, have formed a group called the “Cambodia International Exchange Project” and have been working to support the education of children in that nation. In March 2011, they produced a supplementary textbook for school children.

Many of Cambodia’s intellectuals were killed in that nation’s civil war, and education there has suffered as a result. When the members of the group learned of this situation, they hit upon the idea of creating the textbook.

They first carried out a survey of children in Cambodia and made use of the results in developing their material. Many of the children had said that they want to know more about Japan and so the college students sought to convey the process of postwar reconstruction in Japan in the areas of industry, the economy, education, and daily life.

To date, they have sent approximately 800 of the 183-page textbooks, written in Khmer, Cambodia’s official language, to elementary schools and teacher training institutions in Cambodia. Some members even visited Cambodia and helped lead lessons with the book.

Takashi Kono, 21, the leader of the group, has been to Cambodia four times. A resident of Asaminami Ward, Mr. Kono said, “I hope the book inspires the children to do their best to help with the reconstruction of their country in the future. We’d like to send more textbooks to be used throughout Cambodia.”

(Originally published on January 14, 2013)