We are visiting a local Village School, about 15km up the hill from Pakse city.
Koen is a Travel Agent, and one of his roles is the inspection of places that are, or might be, included in a travel program experience offered by his company. This school is already part of a program offered to Tourist Philanthropists wishing to spend a few days of their travel trying to do good stuff for folks who are less well-off than they are. The school is in a poor Village, is in poor repair, and has almost zero resources. The idea is that tourists will spend a few days living in a house near the school, to get authentic local conditions awareness, and will assist in minor repairs of school buildings. Koen says the program has been in operation for a couple of years and attracts occasional paying customers.
I am a bit under-whelmed by it all.
The youngsters, of course, are lovely kids and put on a bit of a show for me when it becomes evident to them that they have my attention...industriously sweeping the classroom floors, collecting refuse in the yard, that sort of thing.
The kids all wear uniforms...the boys wear long black trousers and white shirts...the girls wear black sarongs with a broad white hem, and white shirts.
The teachers seem to be uniformly of the low-energy type, and the classrooms are bereft of any material that would indicate what the kids are taught or how they are taught, although I did find the following pictures on a wall in one room. [I cannot help but compare this to the scene at a Village school across the border in Thailand, where classrooms are...relatively...groaning under the weight of books and teaching materials].
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