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Students and teachers from Xavier Jesuit School Cambodia (XJS) are back in the classroom. Fallowing some adaptations to the new normal XJS school started strong the this academic year. Here is the story shared by the school through their newsletter.

Many public and private schools opened nationwide for the new academic year, after the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected the 2020 school year. While data showed a slight drop in the number of students enrolled among public schools, Xavier Jesuit School Cambodia (XJS) remained strong after having a 21% increase in student applications for school year 2021.

For this academic year, primary school reopened in 4th January while secondary school started a week later. Currently, there are 525 students from kindergarten to grade 6 and 283 in Grades 7 to 11. This shows a 21% increase from last year’s enrolment.

Every day, students are required to have their temperature checked and clean their hands with alcohol at the school’s screening point. Some teachers stand by with hand-held thermometers to check the temperatures of students. Although going to school now involves adjusting to many precautionary steps, most students shared the sentiment that they are really happy to be back at school.

Most students said that they would rather study at school than at home because they can meet up with friends. They can also ask teachers whenever they need clarifications with their lessons. Many expressed that learning through online platforms at homes is so difficult due to the weak internet connection, issues with the schedule, less class interaction, and many other technical problems.

When we study online, it was difficult to understand. Here in school, we can ask the teachers easily when some lessons are not clear.” – Rith, Grade 10.

Nita, Grade 8, commented that going to school is a lot better because there are many activities that they can do inside the school.

I was very excited to come to school because this is my new school. In here, I [have] met new friends.” Meng Korng, Grade 7, shared.

Happiness and excitement were also very evident among the primary school students as they run and play around with their classmates in the playground or queue up to enter their classrooms to study.

Right now, schools in Phnom Penh and other nearby provinces were ordered close due to the 20th February incident. Hence, all schools in other provinces are bracing themselves to the possible impact of this incident. XJS, on the other hand, is exerting all its efforts in keeping the students safe while learning and helping them adjust to their unfamiliar routine under the ‘new normal’ environment and to whatever challenges the pandemic may pose.