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Digital talent scholarships for STEM students

Buth Sela and Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
STEM students discuss the design of a new robot. Khmer Times

Prime Minister Hun Sen has approved 100 full “Techo Digital Talent Scholarships” for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) high school graduates, according to a Ministry of Post and Telecommunications statement yesterday.

Recent high school graduates can apply for the scholarship for the academic year 2021/2022.

The statement said the programme offers students an opportunity to pursue undergraduate studies in the fields of telecommunications and networking, computer science and e-commerce at the Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology, part of the National Institute of Post, Telecommunications and ICT (NIPTIC).

It said scholarship recipients will each receive a full tuition waiver for their undergraduate studies, a monthly allowance of $120 and one laptop, equivalent to a total of $17,000 for the four-year programme.

The students are encouraged to join the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications after they complete their studies.

It added that candidates must hold high school diplomas in STEM subjects and have outstanding academic achievements, while underprivileged and female students are given priority. All candidates will need to pass rigorous computer-based tests in the subjects of mathematics, logics, physics and english.

Minister Chea Vandeth said he is confident that recent high school graduates will apply for the “Techo Digital Talent Scholarship” and strive for personal academic excellence as a contribution to Cambodia’s vision of becoming an upper-middle income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.

NIPTIC president Seng Sopheap said the institute expects to begin the scholarship programme on March 1.

He said the programme specialises in telecommunications, computer networking, software engineering and digital businesses.

“This programme is special for the students because we invite professors from abroad and after graduation they will have 99 percent job opportunities in private companies and the ministry,” Sopheap said.

Students have been encouraged to pursue STEM subjects for better career prospects.

Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron said on Monday that STEM subjects are very important for all sectors and Cambodia must be ready for the technology progression in the future.

He encouraged students to study STEM to overcome the Kingdom’s skill gap, especially in the area of skilled professionals such as engineers, doctors and specialists.

“Students who study STEM will get good jobs for a bright future,” said Naron.

While urging students to study STEM, he added the ministry is also strengthening STEM education.

For the first time, Cambodia is holding its 16th Annual STEM Festival themed “Future Ready” virtually from January 25 to January 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival is co-hosted by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment.

The virtual event expands beyond its usual focus in the capital city, providing a perfect platform to present young students across the country with STEM-related topics while increasing understanding of STEM and the range of exciting careers it can lead to.

STEM Education Organization for Cambodia (STEMEOC) is working to promote education to the younger generations in the field of STEM.

The Annual Cambodia STEM Festival is one of Cambodia’s flagship STEM events with a mission of igniting a love for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics among young Cambodian students.

Last year’s event was an enormous success with over 13,000 visitors attending, 200 STEM projects and an estimated saving of 58,750 single-use plastic items through the implementation of environmental strategies.

Now is a more important time to invest in the global science community as STEM will play a key role in recovery from the current pandemic. The festival aspires to serve as a bridge between science and society, and will provide a trustworthy platform for young Cambodian students and STEM professionals to build mutual connection and trust.

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