In Siem Reap, Cambodia, our Scholarship programme gives students from impoverished backgrounds the opportunity for further study after they leave high school.
Students from remote rural communities in Cambodia tend to be under-developed when they finish their school education. Covid has added to this challenge by replacing face-to-face learning with online classes. Limited exposure to the world outside their communities makes students less prepared for further education and work than a student from a more privileged background. For impoverished families, education is a luxury. Children often do not have the opportunity to complete high school as they are sent to work at a young age to contribute to household income.
To bring more educational opportunities to the most impoverished communities, Dana Asia offers scholarships to graduating Grade 12 students from a remote rural high school to attend English classes at the Australian Centre for Education (ACE) in Siem Reap, a highly reputable school. Being a tourist hotspot, English is an essential skill in both education and work in Cambodia: without English language skills it is incredibly hard to find skilled jobs, making it difficult for young people to break the cycle of poverty.
The aim of Dana Asia’s ACE scholarships is to provide a “transitional” step to prepare students for the self-motivation and self-driven study that is required for further study at university or in working life. Our first group of 13 students started on the programme in April 2021 and have just completed their second module at ACE. Despite their classes being online and internet connection being unreliable in their village, the students are managing to join and participate in all sessions. They are achieving excellent results in class and in their end-of-module exams, and showing tremendous determination to succeed in challenging circumstances.
Applications will soon be underway for our second group of ACE students, and with rumours of schools reopening in the next month we look forward to seeing how this group of students excel in face-to-face classes.