Even in a difficult situation, because of the love for study, urged garment worker decided to take their spare times from working in the factory to pursue their study until successfully passed the high school examination...
Among the candidates sit for grade 12 examination in 2015 in total of 83,325, there were 46,560 students passed which equal to 55.88 % of total candidates. Within nearly 60% of passed candidates, there are also garment workers, too. This is a pride for the garment workers who are able to pass this exam.
Sot Phorng, one of garment worker who has ability to get this degree, showed her happy feeling that she can pass it. She said “Study was what she loved the most, even though friends and family criticize or impedes her studies, she never thought to give it up”.
Like Sot Phorng, Chey Ann, another candidate who passed the examination and is also a garment worker, said that she is very excited to be able to make her dream come true. Ann said, “'My dream is to pass high school exam. I didn't know what I want to do but I know I have to finish grade 12. My mother said girl who studies a lot is not good. That’s why I had to quit school by grade 9, and when I applied to take this grade 12 exam, my family didn’t support me as well. Also, my co-workers teased me that I shouldn’t put effort on the exam because it’s useless. But now my dream came true.”
To achieve one’s goal, everyone always need encouragement and support as necessary. The two workers said they were able to achieve this is because of the support and guidance from Workers' Information Center (WIC) as well as motivation from inner selves to overcome every obstacles.
Workers’ Information Center provides a safe space to workers where they can learn about their rights to ensure better living conditions and building capacity to have critical thinking and analyzing on workers' common issues. One of key activity in the Drop in Center (DIC) is providing Khmer and English classes to the workers to enable them to read and write.
Success doesn't always come to any individual who is lack of effort and easy to give up. Time allocation for taking responsibility as a good child who goes to earn income to support the family, and time for study is a difficult thing to do, and it can fail if individual lacks patience. Sot Phorng shared her experiences “it’s difficult for me and sometimes I almost give up this dream because I didn’t have enough time like others, I need to allocate my time for study by reading book out with voice recording, so I can listen when I am working in the factory. I took my break time to review the lesson, and I went to school on Sunday.”
Chey Ann also shared her methods for study to get successful that including sleeping only 4 to 5 hours per day to take time to review lessons until 11 o’clock at night, and getting up early at 4 o’clock to review those lessons again.
These two candidates who passed the examination send messages to other workers who have dream to continue to study that “they should start doing it as study is not too late for everybody and age doesn’t matter. Both said that only study can save our lives from oppression and abuse”.
As a result of her efforts, currently Sot Phorng is doing her bachelor degree in Law at Asia Europe University, while Chey Ann is also in her first year majoring in public administration at IIC university.
With the support from Worker’s Information Center through the 6 drop-in centers, there were 6 garment workers passed the high school examination in 2015.