School has officially not started, or unofficially started…that is about as accurate as it gets with the rural government primary school system. As posted last month, the kids were up and ready to get the show on the road…only to come back dragging their heels. Well, the past three weeks ahas been the ‘trial run’ of sorts before the teachers have to pretend to have a regular schedule. The Phchum Ben Holiday was from October 14th – 16th so we are told school would firmly start once it was over; it didn’t…I believe the King’s father’s death delayed it another week. As of now, the kids all go and then randomly come back during the morning hours…some at 9:30, some at 10 and others at the appointed school closure time of 11:00. They don’t seem to mind and are happy to go every morning.
New first graders – Virak, Wey and Heng. Heng came to Wat Opot earlier this year (you can read about Gail’s account of his first days here ) so this is his first time in this school. We actually ended up moving him to the 2nd grade because of his size and intelligence. He may have already attended some sort of school before coming to us, we don’t know.
Heng will be joining our current second graders. Mr. “are you lookin’ at me?” Rith and Mr. “Now where did I put my class list” Saoun. Don’t have much to say about these two, except that I feel sorry for their teacher!
On to the Third Grade with Hua the Gangsta’, Nak the Geek and Chay the Clown. Not really, but that’s how it looks in this photo! All three of them were at the top of their class last year.
By the Fourth Grade you know the ropes and are still excited, but feeling a bit older than the ‘little kids’. Of this group, we moved the first 3 up to the 5th grade. At one time or another they were either held back or started late. With our extra education at Wat Opot, the kids have already caught up (or will catch up) to their new grade level.
I only was able to snap the boy’s pictures, as the girls got ready in their dorms with the help of their Bong Srey’s (big sisters). By the time the boys finally put on their flipflops the girls were already running off to school in a little Wat Opot Gang! It didn’t take the boys long to catch up, though.
Now really, how could you not be excited for school with such sharp looking new uniforms. Look at those shirts! (this is the only time you will see them so white and crisp…)