Teacher on Mission to Set up Remote Area Library

A teacher in a remote area of Battambang province, Sim Kim Ang, intends to set up a village library for poor children. Photo screenscrab from video posted on ThmeyThmey

PHNOM PENH – A teacher in a remote area of Battambang province, Sim Kim Ang, intends to set up a village library for poor children and promote the importance of education in nearby areas. 

Born in Banteay Meanchey’s Mongkol Borey district, Kim Ang, 22, works in a primary school in Ratanak Mondul district. 

As the youngest of four siblings, she left her hometown to chase her dream and has spent almost two years teaching in this remote area. 

Having a keen interest in libraries, Kim Ang used to volunteer in The One Book, One Community Campaign in Poipet town and gained a deeper understanding of libraries from Scholar Library. 

With her strong interest in becoming a librarian, Kim Ang aims to set up a small library as she understands how crucial these are in developing human resources in society.   She tries to understand the library needs of her community as well as what else she should prepare for. ​

Kim Ang is preparing books at a school. Photo screenscrab from video posted on ThmeyThmey

She explained why she intends to set up a village library in her workplace community instead of her hometown. 

“Only one or two students here could graduate high school in one village and only two or students could afford to go to high school, she  said.

“High school is quite far from students’ houses. I am not sure how many kilometers exactly but it takes half an hour to an hour by motorcycle. 

“The library I want to set up at is in the mountainous area of Ratanak Mondul’s district. It was a forest before, but now local people are going to build some houses there,” Kim Ang said. 

Kim Ang said most of the students in the village did not attend school due to their family’s financial situation. Another factor was because their parents had little understanding of the importance of education. Seeing parents as their examples, children also have no passion for going to school. 

Kim Ang said most of her students live in poverty. Photo screenscrab from video posted on ThmeyThmey

“Most of the students live in poverty. They attend class in the morning and help their parents with the plantations to earn extra income,” she said.

“From January to March, they plant potatoes. After the potatoes are harvested, they plant cashew nuts. They help plant other fruits based on the season. They work all day every year.”

Kim Ang said the rate of students going to high school is low and the rate of students passing the exam is even lower. If they passed the baccalaureate exam but did not pursue education at university, it would not be a good sample for the next generation. 

Her passion for learning led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree to become a primary teacher. She believes that her library will play a crucial role in inspiring young people to read and learn. 

 Kim Ang, 22, works in a primary school in Ratanak Mondul district. Photo screenscrab from video posted on ThmeyThmey 

Kim Ang said other students love to study yet they cannot afford to buy books. They only have access to books from their schools. Almost all of them are text only without many pictures. Not many books are available for them according to their age. 

Kim Ang visits her students’ parents once a month to encourage them to urge their children to go to school. After visiting those families, Kim Ang said some parents understand the importance of education and help to teach their children at home. However, some parents are too busy. 

Kim Ang said books are crucial for everyone’s life as they contain research, entertainment, philosophy, encouragement and experiences from people across the world. Books are indispensable things in our lives.   


Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Rin Ousa for Cambodianess.

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