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Innovative French-Inspired Coding School to Open in Phnom Penh

by Surya Narayan
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In a significant move to advance the tech education landscape in Cambodia, the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC) and consultancy firm Platform Impact have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a pioneering programming school on Koh Pich, Phnom Penh. This agreement, signed during Prime Minister Hun Manet’s visit to France, draws inspiration from School42 in France, renowned for its unique approach to teaching programming languages.

School42, launched in 2013, has gained acclaim for its innovative, tuition-free learning model that welcomes both young enthusiasts and seasoned professionals. This model, now set to be replicated in Cambodia, aims to democratize tech education by removing financial barriers, aspiring to forge a global network of free IT schools.

Under the banner of the “Phnom Penh42 Project,” this new institution will adopt the French school’s peer learning and project-based methodology, eschewing traditional lectures for a more interactive and engaging gamification approach. This method encourages students to advance through levels by mastering core coding skills, fostering a hands-on, collaborative learning environment.

The partnership, sealed on January 15, 2024, at Paris’s MEDEF business confederation center, signifies a collaborative commitment between OCIC’s Vice Chairperson Lim Lina and Platform Impact’s Chairman Wisal HIN, with the presence of notable figures such as Thierry Tea, Vice President at OCIC Group, and Hor Serey Vath, Chairman of IDI. This initiative is poised to create a sustainable and impactful educational setting for Cambodian students.

Moreover, the development of the Connexion Community Hub on Koh Pich, slated for the first quarter of 2024, will complement the school by providing a nurturing space for innovation and startup incubation, backed by Canadia Group, OCIC’s parent company.

This educational venture is a response to Cambodia’s pressing need for digital skills, aiming to mitigate the skill gap in sectors like telecom, banking, financial services, and IT. With endorsements from significant Cambodian ministries and the support of the National Bank of Cambodia, this project aligns with the government’s Pentagon Strategy to elevate education standards and foster digital inclusivity.

The Phnom Penh42 Project is not just a leap forward in tech education but also a strategic move to enhance Cambodia’s digital economy. By offering round-the-clock access to learning resources, the school ensures flexibility for adult learners and those with daytime commitments, promoting inclusivity without the need for formal qualifications.

This initiative is particularly significant for promoting gender equality in STEM, offering a safe and accessible platform for women and girls to enhance their technical skills. As Cambodia seeks to strengthen its digital infrastructure, the Phnom Penh42 Project stands as a pivotal development in cultivating a skilled workforce, potentially attracting foreign investment and establishing Cambodia as a tech-savvy nation in the region.

Source: Khmer Times

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