What our School Partnership has shown me

Yasmin is a student at Tiffins Girls’ School. They are partnered with UWS Ol Thom, in Cambodia.

She tells us a little of her experience of their School Partnership

As a student, I resonate with children who do not yet have access to education: it has been a foundational building block in my life, a key stepping stone in my individual progress, and, therefore, an encouragement for aspiration. Education, to me, isn’t just about being successful in exams. It is rather an understanding of current affairs, an exposure to the world, and it gives me the ability to reason in society. With a focus on results, it is easy to forget the value a school provides and that nearly 59 million primary aged children (almost the entire population of the UK) are currently unable to access any meaningful form of education worldwide.

I view education as a fundamental human right. Without it, we might simply adopt the views of the previous generation, with its engrained social stereotypes, leaving us to lament on the inability to progress as a nation. Where men, women and children face deprivation of their human rights, we see the most problems. The absence of education leaves people struggling to express their hardship and limits the impact they can have on the ruling forces. Education gives a voice to the less privileged and enables individuals, families and communities to impact both their country and worldwide affairs.

United World School (UWS) works by partnering schools in the UK and overseas with isolated communities who cannot access education. Together they build and sustain schools in these communities, training local teachers and teaching the unreached. These partnerships enable the spread of education and are beneficial to students in the West as well as to those in developing countries. As students in England, we learn about the struggles involved in accessing education and no longer take our own learning for granted. This leads to a new found appreciation for this basic right and the wealth of knowledge that it places at our fingertips.

My school, Tiffin Girls’ School, is partnered with UWS Ol Thom, in Cambodia. Through this partnership we have further recognised the value of education, which has led to fewer children having to follow the limited pathways of the previous generation. With a UWS School, the community in Ol Thom can become literate in the national language, enabling a generation – for the first time – to think beyond an occupation in subsistence farming and instead, as a literate, curious and intelligent population, support Cambodia’s development as a country.

Yasmin Patel

Tiffin Girls' School


If you would like to find out more about how to become a School Partner, click here.