Parent Conference Interview with the Promotion 6 Students
Last month, PEPY Scholarship Promotion 6 students organized the Parent Conference in Kralanh District. English Teacher Soury recently had the chance to interview some “Dragon” students about the conference.
Before the conference started, all students gathered together to decide who would be their presenter and what they would share about their experience at PEPY. They prepared their agendas, rehearsed songs, set up their presentation slides and prepared flowers for their parents. The students said that they learned a lot from the preparation, such as creating agendas, team building and how to communicate better with one another. However, the students also had some challenges. Student (Dung) Ousa said, “Sometimes, we didn’t listen to each other. Sometimes, we did not work together, but it was okay because we solved our problems. We had different ideas. We also had problems agreeing with the meeting dates because of our different exam dates.”
During their presentations, all students talked about what they’ve done at PEPY. They shared what they learned at the PEPY Learning Center, the community organizations that they were involved in, and the activities that they participated in.
“When PEPY started providing scholarships, they only just mentioned it. They helped two students at first. The students didn’t know English, they didn’t have computer skills and their soft-skills were still poor. When they went to their university, they had problems.” Student (Heang) Sotheareak says. “PEPY staff then provided scholarships to the students for English class, ICT/Computer class, Library class, YE class, and how to learn soft-skills (to solve problems, help with studies and get good grades). PEPY wanted to make it easier for the students to study at the university and the students also studied very hard.” He adds, “PEPY wants to train students to be quality employers, not just employees.”
Student (Dung) Ousa talked about Integration Day. “The first day at PEPY, we went to the Women’s house and the Men’s house. We got to describe ourselves. We didn’t know where everyone was originally from.” Ousa said that Integration Day was a very important day for all students, for everyone to get to know each other and build strong friendships.
They think universities are important. Student, Roeum Sren, says that studying at the university makes it easier for the students to build careers and find jobs. “When I told my mother about my university and the activities that I learned, my mother was really happy. I told my parents about the strategic subjects that I’ve learned and other subjects that I will learn at the university.” He adds, “When we study at university, we know more. If we look for all kinds of opportunities, we will find it.”
To Student, Chhea Lida, the university is very important because it is the way to get successful in life. He said, “When (Nat) Tongtin and his other friend made a presentation about the university, I told my father that it was my university, too, and he was impressed and surprised for me. I was excited that he was surprised. Before, my father didn’t know about the [benefits of] university. I told my father that the university is the place where I gain a lot of good knowledge and meet new professors that can help me envision my future. I told my father that I learn about soft-skills and computers. I learn to make friendships with the students and the teachers, and I have a lot of good friends at the university. [He now understands that] I have learned from new people, I have improved my attitude and knowledge.” He told his parents that after he studies at his university for five years, he will continue to study abroad and then he will return home. Lida wants gain and improve his knowledge. He says that when he goes back to the countryside, he will show his village people and his relatives that he is strong. He adds, “This is my dream and I will follow it.”
A few students explained how their parents felt after the conference. Student (Yoeurm) Yinhyung says, “I saw that they were proud of me, with the activities I learned, how I’ve changed, what I’ve acknowledged and my change in attitude.” He adds, “Like Student (Chhon) Sinav, her parents can see the difference and how she has changed when she spends time with them and when she studies at the university.” Student (Rin) Makara says that when she saw her parents, she felt excited. “I saw them cry, and I cried, too. It was my first time speaking in front of them and it was the first time they heard me speak.”
“After listening to the interview, we felt truly inspired. It takes a lot of time and effort from the students to succeed in school and move forward into their jobs, careers, and their lives in general. Pamela said that she has only known the students for a month but she can imagine the transitions that they’ve been through. “I have a lot of respect for them (and the staff, as well, for providing these scholarships). I believe that they will continue to do amazing things in this world. I have infinite hope for all of them.”