Building Schools


Koh Loong Elementary School funded by Canadian donors.

There is an acute shortage of schools in the poorer areas of rural Cambodia. As families begin to meet their basic daily needs through the Family Savings program, they often turn to dreams of achieving an education for their children. They often ask Tabitha to help build a school for the community. Tabitha provides funding and other assistance to build and equip the school, and then passes ownership and the responsibility for the running of the school – including the supply of teachers – to the government through the Ministry of Education.

Since 1994, 69 schools have been built with Tabitha’s assistance. Currently, there are eight communities that Tabitha has identified as needing schools, and construction can begin when funding for the schools has been secured.

Students at Koh Loong Elementary School in Preah Vihear Province.

Building a future for Cambodia’s kids

Since 2013, Tabitha Foundation Canada fundraising efforts have resulted in the construction of two schools: the Kok Pon Primary School and the Koh Loong Primary School, both in Preah Vihear province. While the children of these communities formerly attended one-room schools made of thatch, the new schools each have six rooms and over 350 students.

  • Tabitha Cambodia liaises with the Village, Commune and District chiefs and a representative of the Ministry of Education.
  • A wealthy villager often donates land for a school (or if there is a run-down school, this land is used).
  • The land is transferred to the national government and ear-marked for a school.
  • Tabitha Cambodia seeks funding for the planned school.
  • Once funding is received, Tabitha Cambodia arranges for local contractors to build the school (with support from local villagers)
  • When complete, the school is gifted to the national government to run and maintain.

What does Tabitha provide?

  • School building
  • Desks for students
  • Desks for teachers
  • Blackboards
  • A well
  • Toilets
  • Metal flagpole

What does the government provide?

  • Teachers
  • Curriculum
  • Text books
  • Maintenance

What does the community provide?

  • Land
  • Labour to assist carrying materials to the building site and during construction
  • Accommodation and other support for the teachers assigned to their school

Number of children attending school

Depending on the needs and the funds available, schools either have 3, 6 or 12 classrooms. Often smaller schools are built with the expectation that they will be extended when further funds become available.

On average, there are 40 children in each classroom. Attendance is maximized by having a morning class of children followed by an afternoon class of different children.

Cost of schools

3-room school:   US$27,500
6-room school:   US$52,100
12-room school:  US$98,000