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SCIA builds on Singapore’s success story to nurture future leaders of Cambodia

Anith Adilah Othman / Khmer Times Share:
The Cambodia Team wins 3rd Place (Int’l Projects) at the 34th CASTIC in Macau, China

It has only been two years since the Singapore Cambodia International Academy (SCIA) set foot in the country, but in such a short span of time, the Singapore brand is slowly gaining recognition as one of the Kingdom’s leading education providers.

Drawing inspiration from Singapore’s own success story in the field of education, SCIA says it aspires to be the centre of excellence in education and lifelong learning. Building upon this notion, it places utmost importance on delivering high-quality education to nurture the Cambodia’s future leaders.

“Education plays an extremely vital role in developing Singapore from a third world country to a member of the first world. Similar to Cambodia now, Singapore’s only natural resource was its people. In fact, it should be recognised that the youth is the Kingdom’s greatest asset,” it said.

It might not seem like it but Singapore and Cambodia has a lot in common – one of it being a young nation population. This meant that the Republic too had its humble beginnings. However, with the evolution of a rigorous education system, Singapore today frequently ranks among the top performers in various global educational achievements.


Over the years, Singapore’s education system has adopted bilingualism to connect the country globally, geared its focus towards developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and provided endless possibilities for excellence in humanities, arts and sports to encourage creativity and entrepreneurship.

Apart from offering generous scholarships for students and relatively high starting salaries for teachers to attract and retain the best individuals, the nation bases its education system on the ultimate principle of meritocracy. This has undoubtedly helped foster economic and societal growth in a balanced manner.

This has resulted in positive outcomes for Singapore, as evident in the 2017 International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) where it came out on top in four categories: primary maths, secondary maths, primary science and secondary science, beating 56 other countries. Singapore students also emerged top in an OECD global survey that assessed collaborative problem-solving abilities.


“Building on Singapore’s success in equipping its young nation population with the education and skill sets to be future-ready, SCIA aims to accomplish the same in Cambodia – by unlocking the potential of many future leaders through a holistic education.

“Arising from the success of Singapore’s bilingual system, SCIA believes in a trilingual education that gives the youths a chance to connect to the global world where both Western and Eastern influences dominate, while also embracing local Khmer culture and values,” it said. Walking the talk, SCIA has achieved success within less than two years of its existence in Cambodia. One of the highlights include producing innovative and award-winning students.

At the 34th China Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest (CASTIC), which was held in Macau from July 20-26, its students successfully bagged the third place in the International Projects category with their project – ‘Recirculating Aquatic System of Agriculture’ (RASA).

RASA is a sustainable aquatic farming system aimed at saving space, using less water yet producing a higher food output than traditional agricultural methods. The freshness of the vegetation grown using this technique is similar to the plants grown traditionally.

“SCIA is honoured to have our two high school students nominated by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to represent Cambodia in one of China’s biggest national science competitions and won third place in the International Projects category.

“Representing Cambodia to take part in this competition is a testament to the success of SCIA’s STEM curriculum, and also an opportunity for students to gain international exposure,” it said.

SCIA also won the “Best Friendly Award” by its primary school students who also represented Cambodia at the Asian Science and Mathematics Olympiad 2018, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, November 2018.

However, unlike Singapore, SCIA noted that Cambodia’s development is taking place in a world that’s fast-changing and dynamic.

Therefore it aspires to impart 21st century skills to its students to help develop their sense of inquiry as well as acquire a good understanding of global issues.

“Today’s jobs may not exist in the future. With SCIA’s signature programmes, students will be nurtured with not only STEM, Entrepreneurship and Leadership skills but also innovation, collaboration, problem solving, and self-direction,” it said. Over the past year, SCIA has created and launched a myriad of initiatives that are aligned with the efforts of promoting the signature programmes. They include the inaugural Learning Village where students are exposed to real-life situations as a form of experiential learning, Inspire Series where engagement is driven through thought leadership and Teen Entrepreneur Challenge where participants come up with new business ideas using Design Thinking.

SCIA is a registered school of Cambridge Assessment International Education, offering the Cambridge (Primary, Lower Secondary, Upper Secondary, and Advanced) programme for students aged 6 to 18 years old.

It is also recently appointed by Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) as an Overseas Examination Centre to conduct the Singapore International Primary School Examination (iPSLE).
iPSLE is the international version of Singapore’s Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), an examination offered to all students at the end of Primary Education, with the aim of providing benchmarking for overseas schools which are interested to benchmark to Singapore’s standard.


SCIA vows to keep growing as it helps mold the future of Cambodia. Some of the efforts undertaken by SCIA to further strengthen its roles are ensuring constant professional development of teachers and providing a holistic education that is beyond the K-12 curriculum.

SCIA is the first and only Recognised Teaching Centre appointed by the University of London (UOL) to offer the International Foundation Programme (IFP), a unique one-year pre-university programme that prepares students for undergraduate studies around the world.

The academy also introduced the Management Foundation Programme (MFP) with its first intake scheduled for this October.

The 6-month bridging course is recognised by SIM Group for entry into SIM diploma in Singapore and SIM’s top-ranking partner universities from the United Kingdom, Europe, United States and Australia.
Aside from the students, another integral part to the SCIA family is the parents. It will continue to organise more parent-initiated activities and joint events to provide a conducive learning environment.

Under its “Doing Well and Doing Good” pillar, SCIA also believes in giving back to the local society whenever possible.

Through consultations with the local government and stakeholders, SCIA is playing a constructive role in the education arena in Cambodia. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts so far include providing scholarships and study awards, and also providing leadership training to these scholars.

“In addition, as recent as June, SCIA invited a group of local primary school students to a ‘Kidzania-style’ experience where they experienced different careers (such as a radio DJ, baker, graphic designer, chef, artist etc) at various booths set up by staff,” it added.

Nestled in the heart of One Park, Phnom Penh City Center, SCIA’s spaces are designed to encourage creative thinking, innovation, collaboration and communication. SCIA offers a vibrant city campus with amenities such as retail outlets, cafés and restaurants in close proximity. Some of the key facilities include a 300-seater auditorium and a multipurpose hall, a makerspace and an International Assembly Space for Model United Nations. As SCIA enters into second academic year, operations will be expanded into North Wing for primary school classes.

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