Together we can fight poverty
through education and vocational training
Sala Baï will welcome 150 new students in September 2018. 150 young people who will have passed the tests that are part of a six-month long selection process and demonstrated their deep determination.
Since the Sala Baï School was set up, less than 1% of students have abandoned their training during the course of the year. 100% have found stable employment. These two figures are evidence of both the students’ deep determination to obtain the Sala Baï diploma and the relevance of the selection process.
To apply to study at Sala Baï, potential students must meet social-economic criteria (annual family income of less than $1,000, educational criteria (have completed grade 10 for the Front Office training course and grade 6 for the Cooking, Restaurant, Beauty Therapy and Housekeeping courses. In March 2018, 400 candidates were selected to pass the written tests in Siem Reap and Sisophon. These written tests checked the candidates’ abilities in reading, writing in Khmer and basic mathematics. After the testing phase the school’s social workers visit the families of the selected candidates to check whether they meet the socio-economic criteria in order to ensure that the free education goes to those who are most in need. From end-April to end-June 2018, 339 families received a visit and, something new this year, 16 provinces were concerned. Until now, candidates came from at most 14 provinces. Thanks to the introduction of new actions by our NGO partners such as Enfants du Mékong, the Lataste home and Mille et une fontaines, as well as the launch of an online recruitment campaign, our geographic coverage has increased.
In addition to verifying the socio-economic criteria, the school’s social workers seek to raise awareness about realities in Cambodia, especially as regards the entrance exam for becoming a school teacher (monthly salary of $250). Following an increase in the salaries of public servants in Cambodia, this profession attracts many of the young people who have been selected by Sala Baï. They are keen to take the entrance exam although very few of them have any chance of being selected. They then find themselves in a very difficult situation as they are unable to become school teachers and can no longer access the training provided by Sala Baï, and thus miss out on an opportunity to escape poverty through vocational training (starting salary for the class of 2016-2017: $120, salary after three years’ experience: $300 to $400).
Between mid-June and mid-July, the school’s teachers interview potential students to check their motivation. At the end of the whole process, out of the 418 candidates seen in January 2018, only 150 will be selected in July.