A Thailand-based cement company awarded last week over 200 Khmer high school students and 10 university students with academic scholarships at the Cambodia-Korea Cooperation Center. The scholarship grants are part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to improve the education sector in the kingdom.
“SCG Sharing the Dream” is a programme initiated by leading business conglomerate SCG which has been producing quality cement in Thailand and the Asean region since it was established in 1913. The company aims to improve the quality of education and help reduce the number of out-of-school youth in Cambodia. The scholarship grants are awarded to those young Cambodians who want to pursue their education but do not have the financial capabilities to achieve their dreams.
Paramate Nisagornsen, vice-president for Regional Business, Cement-Building Materials Business of SCG, said that he hopes the programme will create a big impact to Cambodian students to pursue their dreams.
“SCG Sharing the Dream has been initiated from the passion of SCG which expects to provide better future to Cambodians. The scholarship programme has been given to children in Cambodia for five years in a row since 2014. I hope that through this programme, the students will be able to pursue their dreams, and, they will be able to use their skills and knowledge to contribute to their country’s development,” Mr Nisagornsen said.
“Throughout the years, we have provided more than 1,000 scholarships for high school students in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampot province. To provide more support to Cambodia, SCG has provided 10 more university scholarships to “Sharing the Dream” alumni who are now studying in their chosen majors. The scholarships will be provided to the scholars until they graduate,” Mr Nisagornsen added.
Sos Fasy, under-secretary of state of the Ministry of Education, said that the scholarships help Cambodia in developing human resources that are the significant factors in developing the nation. He said, “The Ministry of Education has done a lot of reforms in response to the job markets and we can see that there is an increase in student enrollments through various scholarships, especially those from the marginalised sector of the society.
“The scholarship is a significant contribution to Cambodia in developing the human resources that the country desperately needs to develop its own economy and society and lead the country to attain the status as upper middle income economy in 2030.”
SCG also announced that it wants to expand its scholarship programme to students in Takhmao town and Kandal Stung district of Kandal province.
“The Ministry of Education would like to welcome such plan and we promise to cooperate with the company,” Mr Fasy said, adding that there are five high schools in the said places.
Khan Samnang, a sophomore engineering student at Norton University, said that the university scholarship is a big help for him and his family. He added that if it weren’t for the help from SCG, his family will have a hard time sending him to tertiary education.
“I received the scholarship from SCG. They pay the tuition for five years at Norton University. The evaluation of the scholarship given depends on the result of the interview with the company. I am among the ten students in the first batch of university students given this opportunity,” Mr Samnang said.
“Under the scholarship, I have to maintain good academic performance, meaning that I have to get GPA 3 out of 4, otherwise the scholarship can be terminated.”
Chan Poy, a father of a high school student in Phnom Penh who also attended the event, said that he had seen how his daughter strived real hard to do good in her studies and be worthy of the SCG scholarship.
“First, she filled up the application form and submitted to the company along with thousands of students. Fortunately, she was selected as part of the two hundred candidates. The company officers also came to visit our family to evaluate the family’s condition. The company also assessed the attitude of the candidate towards his or her family. That way, they will know if the student deserves the scholarship grant,” Mr Poy said, noting that the scholarship is a big relief to his family as they will no longer be groping in the dark to make ends meet just to send his daughter to a good school.