Westview Cambodian International School’s dedication to excellence sees the institution continuing to expand – with a new building to open next year – while its commitment to ensuring the highest standards meant it was to among the first 20 schools allowed to reopen following the Covid-19 shutdown.

The school offers international education from Grade 7-12 “based on current best teaching practices”, with “a focus not only on academic excellence, but also the essential skills necessary to succeed in life, including growth mindset, resilience and perseverance”.

Its chairman Ly Virak said Westview strives to bring the highest-quality US-standard based curriculum to prepare students to be socially committed and highly responsible leaders who are successful citizens at the regional and global levels.

“We offer quality secondary education as the great extension to [sister school] the Learning Jungle International School, which offers education from preschool to elementary.

“Westview Cambodian International School offers international secondary programme built from the world-renowned standards of education, American Common Core Standards and the Khmer language, history and culture into one unique curriculum from Grades 7 to 12.

“Our mission is to educate Cambodian youth to be confident and equipped with global competencies, while embracing their Cambodian identity, culture and values,” Virak said.

Westview chairman Ly Virak.

Westview opened mid-2019 – with a ceremony presided over by HE Dr Hang Chuon Naron, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports – and has already outgrown its original facilities.

“We are currently constructing a new school building adjacent to the current school, scheduled to be completed before August next year. This new building will comprise classrooms, a sports centre, a library and many other important facilities, and be equipped with the latest technology,” Virak said.

The standard of its spacious, modern campus and the school’s strict adherence to the highest levels of hygiene and the safety of its students instilled such confidence that Westview was among the first 20 schools allowed by the Ministry of Education to reopen in August.

Virak stated proudly: “The ministry and parents have confidence in us because our operations are diligent. During the schools closure, our online learning – with the high teaching standards and modern technology we use – was among the first to receive recognition from the ministry.

“Our Western and local teachers are certified in their subject of teaching. We have dedicated qualified supporting staff and academic team who are passionate and committed to providing personalised support and care services to each individual student to achieve their full potential.

“We operate under the health and safety procedures, approved by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, since the first phase of reopening. To further guarantee safety, we do not allow outsiders – even parents – to enter our premises, for example.

“When the government allowed certain schools meeting the highest standards for reopening in the first phase in August, we – Westview Cambodian International School and the Learning Jungle International School – were among the first 20 schools in Cambodia to receive permission to reopen.”

Westview’s firm embrace of the integration of the latest technology in its curriculum before Covid-19 also helped it successfully transition to the online learning brought about by the outbreak, he added.

The school offers a ‘unique’ and comprehensive curriculum. Photo supplied

“Before Covid-19, our students were already used to blended learning by using the school online resources to complete their class work and projects.

“We purchased new laptops and installed reliable internet in everyone’s homes, including international and local teachers, and administration team, in case staff need to work from home.

“Our online learning consisted of many live teaching sessions via Zoom, about four to five sessions of 45 minutes per day. We purchased new online learning resources, adding to our programme to make it more interactive and engaging for our students ranging from licensed math and science educational activities and interactive reading and writing platforms to allow students to learn the subject content while having fun.

“In addition – what sets us apart from other schools – we have academic and front office teams who work together even outside of their regular working hours via a one-on-one Telegram groups with every single student and parent to support them from technical issues to explaining lessons and motivate students to adjust to the new way of online learning and become independent learners. This is what has made our online programme so successful,” Virak said.

The school states it was founded with the intention of reshaping the youth of Cambodia by providing a unique educational journey, which combines the best of both Western and Cambodian cultures in order to push students to achieve and surpass even the highest international standards of education.

Westview has a focus on STEM. Photo supplied

And Westview’s comprehensive curriculum reflects this. Khmer language and the American Common Core Standards – English Language Arts; Mathematics; Science; ICT; World History and Geography; Health, Fitness and Wellness; and Fine Arts – are taught, with an option for Chinese as well.

With a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), Khmer social studies and extra-curricular activities, Westview strives to “equip students with the global knowledge and skills necessary to prepare them to be independent, lifelong learners, creative individuals, positive contributors and responsible, global thinkers, all while allowing them to retain the values that make them proud and productive Cambodian citizens”.

“We aim to prepare our students for the challenges of the current changing world. We seek to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit and develop their skills and abilities for creative thinking and problem solving for future learning and career placement.

“Together with parents and students, we are united in creating a caring, safe and nurturing environment in which every student has equal opportunities to further develop their talents and interests to reach their full potential,” Virak said.