Learning Center

learning_center

Graduation from tertiary education does not necessarily lead to securing a job. In 2012, the National Employment Agency in Cambodia conducted a survey with businesses in Siem Reap to identify issues within the labor market. They found that there was a chronic skills shortage in high school and university graduates. Employers were struggling to fill positions as graduates were leaving education without appropriate skills for securing employment.

Key skills found to be lacking included soft skills such as leadership, interpersonal communication, critical and analytical thinking skills, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. Also lacking were hard skills such as proficiency in English language and Information & Communication Technology.

Our goal is to support Kralanh, Srei Snom, Baray, and Kampong Leaeng students in gaining further education and skilled employment. To do this, we’re providing learning that goes beyond just a university degree or vocational training.

The PEPY Empowering Youth Learning Center provides scholarship students with three classes to enhance their employability. These include:

  • English: We provide both internal and external English classes, which supplement the English Classes that the students attend at external language schools. However, we go beyond the textbook curriculum to provide practical skills through the English language, such as critical thinking and student-centered strategies to increase motivation.
  • ICT: Communication through technology is increasingly important in securing jobs. Students learn industry-standard software applications, including Microsoft Office, graphic design, and online communications, in preparation for future employment.
  • Youth Empowerment: For first year students, these classes aim to build confidence and skills in interpersonal communication, leadership, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Second year students utilize these skills by discussions about world issues and the international community. Students are also taught CV and cover letter writing, and interview technique workshops to help prepare students for their own career path.

In addition, the Learning Center invites speakers several times a year, showcasing Cambodian role models who have achieved success in their professional lives. We also facilitate forums between potential employers and students, so they can learn more about the job market. To help students enhance their work experience and build their confidence, we help connect students with temporary opportunities such as internships and volunteering.


Challenges / Lessons learned

  • Students enter English class at various abilities, which proves challenging to both nurture advanced students and support beginners. In response, 3 different classes are taught, each at differing levels; as students’ abilities change, they can move classes to best fit their learning needs.
  • Initially in Youth Empowerment classes, we focused only on soft skills. We soon realized that in order for students to practice and utilize these skills, they needed context provided by knowledge about world issues and the international community, therefore we have since incorporated this into the curriculum.

 

  

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