19 January 2010

To Pay or not to Pay

Our free neighbourly English lessons are done and dusted. But it seems that we have created the perception that these free lessons will be ongoing. That's despite delivering flyers that clearly stated, in Khmer, that this was a once off.

"So, you have free English lessons every week," said my landlord's maintenence man.
"No," I said, 'That was only an introduction, so you get to know us.'
'Oh', he said, surprised.

So many Cambodians are so used to hand-outs from Non-Government Organisations (NGO's) that it has become part of their psyche. So, while they can see the immense benefit in being taught English by qualified native speaking teachers, they don't always want to pay for it.

It appears my private students feel the same. They would like one hour lessons for US$1.
That is impossible as we need to pay our rent. They also said that our classroom looks too good and the 'average' Cambodian would be intimidated by learning with us.
 "Cambodians," one of my students said, "Would be afraid of studying at your school, they would think that they couldn't possibly meet the standard expected of them."
"They would rather learn in an old classroom with a teacher who was just OK. Somewhere where they won't stand out."

It's getting weirder here at the moment...

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