SCIA promotes holistic education to prepare students for employment

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
SCIA Managing Director Anselm Chu (right) speaks to students during a college event. SCIA

Are existing educational institutions in Cambodia producing graduates with the right skills to meet labour market demands or is there a mismatch in demand and supply of skills?

Ministry of Education Youth and Sport of Cambodia recognises that Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) are important to ensure its citizens compete in the job market.

One of the reasons Singapore Cambodia International Academy (SCIA) comes to Phnom Penh is to provide assistance in this area.

Technology, especially in the communications sector and social media in particular, have been instrumental in transforming people’s lives, from the way we interact to how global businesses are conducted. How does SCIA conflate traditional learning systems and modern technologies in classrooms to provide quality education and produce talented graduates?

With the advent of Information Communications Technology (ICT), education in most parts of the world sees a dramatic change in how teaching and learning is carried out.

Singapore has had an early start back in 1997, in ensuring our students are taught the necessary IT skills in the normal school curriculum. IT infrastructure was expedited to support this new initiative.

SCIA brings the curriculum taught in Singapore. Inevitably, the good practices, such as ICT in lessons, are part of the DNA of SCIA.

To establish effective communication with parents, SCIA employs both traditional (via letters and emails) and digital means through use of Class Dojo, a classroom communication app.

Cambodia is not only in need of physical infrastructure, but soft skills are also in much demand as the economy strides forward. What role has SCIA played in this aspect?

SCIA understands that whilst physical infrastructure provides good optics, the spirit of education lies in its curriculum.

SCIA champions Holistic Education comprising cognitive, aesthetics, moral, physical and social domains.

Education should develop the whole child and not too focused on academics only.

Embedded in SCIA’s curriculum are subjects like Character, leadership, Global Awareness Education (CLGE), Co-Curricular Activities (CCA), Entrepreneurship and Talent Development. Through the holistic education learning model (HELM), SCIA aims to develop students who are thinkers, innovators and creators of their future.

Financial literacy among students has been a subject of intense debate, both in developing and developed countries, as students’ debts have swelled into trillions of dollars worldwide. Are local higher educational institutions doing enough to promote financial literacy among students? Please explain how SCIA is educating young students on this subject.

Numeracy literacy is taught in all education systems.

Mathematics is important to develop sound and logical thinking skills.

When a person understands mathematics, he or she will be able to delve deeper into disciplines that require Mathematics knowledge such as banking, taxation and managing businesses. In the spirit of lifelong learning, a person must keep on acquiring new knowledge to remain relevant in the workforce.

SCIA believes in education through experiential learning and sees the benefits of working with organisations in providing meaningful experiences for our students. It is in the plans to engage banks and insurance providers, just to name two, for collaboration in the areas of financial literacy.

There is a growth in new age entrepreneurs, as many young Cambodians venture into startups such as financial technology, ICT and new media.What has fuelled the growth of this businesses?

The generation of today receives news almost instantaneously, thanks to technology and social media. Unlike in yesteryears, we have limited avenues for new developments, having to rely on television, radio and newspapers.

Understandably, the successes of entrepreneurs in the world have ignited the interest of Cambodians. Being young, they have not much to lose. The social media teaches, connects and celebrates successes.

People nowadays do not shy away from sharing information and tips. With a bit of luck and lots of determination, nothing but success can be within reach of the new generation.