I'm Learning Project!
This project is an example of new trends in development that focus on evidence-based programming and is very similar in its intent as KAPE’s School Dropout Prevention Pilot (SDPP) though the latter focuses on secondary education while I’m Learning focuses on primary. I’m Learning has several different components including a research unit, a monitoring and evaluation unit, and an implementation unit. Save the Children is responsible for the implementation of activities in 15 intervention Schools in Kampong Cham, Tbaung Khmum, Kratie and Kampong Chhnang while KAPE is responsible for monitoring and evaluation as well as the development of a formal research framework that empirically validates the impact of interventions assessing changes in Intervention Schools versus Comparison Schools. The project’s theme is to provide concrete evidence that a holistic approach to school development can actually improve children’s learning. While ‘holistic’ development approaches such as KAPE’s Child Friendly School programming with its six dimensions have gained wide circulation both globally and in Cambodia, examples of empirical validation are rare. Thus, the I’m Learning Project seeks to provide innovative and holistic support to schools in Kampong Cham within an implementation framework that will generate proof of the efficacy of these interventions. Activities are organized into a ‘Quality Learning Environment Framework’ (QLE) that includes 4 dimensions (operationalized by 28 criteria) as follows:
- Emotional & Psychological Protection
- Physical Protection
- Active Learning Processes (Improved Learning Outcomes)
- Parent-Community Participation
The Project now includes qualitative data collection activities that focus primarily on quantitative data. This transition was completed in the middle of the year along with the addition of a new adviser with high expertise in this area. The new focus on qualitative data collection has been particularly helpful for the assessment of student application of life skills as part of the national curriculum.
The I’m Learning project also hosted a three-country meeting to review preliminary research findings as well as preferred methodologies and progress to date. In this regard, representatives from Uganda and Zimbabwe joined counterparts in Cambodia to discuss the research. The joint meeting was hosted in Kampong Cham Province and provided a good opportunity for the project to show case its progress.
At the end of the year, KAPE conducted an annual project evaluation providing recommendations for Year 3 implementation. This report was prepared in draft from at the end of the fiscal year and will be submitted in final form to the University of Oslo at the beginning of 2016.
Project Lessons Learned
The I’m Learning Project faced some challenges related to the development of new life skill tools. The process of tool development required many steps to follow, starting from the analysis of textbook content to pilot testing in order to validate reliability scores. Project personnel worked with specialists from various backgrounds in order to develop these tools. An acceptable level of reliability, however, was difficult to achieve, requiring multiple rounds of tool revision.
Hun Sen Skun high school in Chhoeurng Prey district, Kampong Cham province.
I’m Learning Project! supported by
Save the Children