Twenty outstanding Cambodian high school students received SmartEdu scholarships worth $300,000 from Smart Axiata Co Ltd over the weekend. The scholarships will help pay their university tuition and provide a monthly allowance until they graduate.
Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron presided over the event. Also present was Chun Vat, the head of the secretariat of the Capacity Building and R&D Fund.
In a press release, Smart Axiata said: “This is the fourth cohort of high school students who have been offered SmartEdu scholarships since 2016. Seventy Cambodian students are now part of the programme with scholarships worth up to $15,000 each.”
The company said it felt honoured to provide opportunities to underprivileged Cambodian youth to continue their education, and that Smart Axiata was seeking more opportunities to help them showcase their talents and skills that had not yet been uncovered, said CEO Thomas Hundt.
Koam Tivea, Smart Axiata’s Senior Corporate Communications Specialist, told The Post on Wednesday that candidates must have graduated from high school in August with grade A or B to apply for the scholarship.
SmartEdu scholarships also provided opportunities for engagement with other Smart initiatives. They can also intern at Smart Axiata and interview for jobs in the company upon graduating from university.
“Through SmartEdu, we want to encourage bright Cambodian high school students to pursue a university education, and at the same time equip them with skills and competencies so that they can actively contribute to the Kingdom’s growth in the digital era.
“At Smart Axiata, we have an overarching philosophy of ‘Advancing Cambodia through Education’, which is the basis of all the education, development and leadership programmes under the SmartEdu brand, said Koam Tivea.
Each year, 20 scholarships were given out to students. Ten of them were given out to students who want to pursue their studies at the National Institute of Posts, Telecoms and ICT through Smart’s contribution towards the government’s Capacity Building and R&D Fund, he said.
Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post on Wednesday that cooperation between his ministry and Smart Axiata had lasted many years, and his ministry was pleased to welcome continued cooperation with the company.
“There are many ways in which Smart Axiata has contributed to supporting education, including through its offer of scholarships. Related to non-formal education, Smart Axiata had supported the Literacy Day over previous years,” Soveacha said.
The ministry, he said, was delighted to welcome positive cooperation from relevant stakeholders and had observed that private sector participation in education reform played a crucial role in this.