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Three students claim prizes at Hong Kong maths contest

THREE young Cambodian students have won the country’s first international prizes in an Asia-Pacific maths competition in Hong Kong.

Four hundred students from eight nations across the region took part in the competition, including a team of 11 from Cambodia.

The grade 11 and 12 students were from Bak Tuk and Preah Sisovat high schools. Khemarak University chose them to represent the country in its first international maths competition from among 70 applicants nationwide.

It was a proud moment for Dr Sok Touch, director of Khemarak University. “For 31 years, Cambodia has never before attended this event and I myself never thought that Cambodia
would have such marvellous students who won third-place prizes among hundreds of students in the Asia-Pacific examination.

“Even though we didn’t get first place, we had the ability to take part. This is why politicians or rich people should help the education sector,” said Sok Touch.

“We need support, especially for real sciences, which are the main key to developing the country,” he said.

The Cambodian winner with the highest marks was Sokhonn Reny, a grade 11 student at Preah Sisovath High School. “The most difficult part for me was that the test was conducted in English, except for Chinese students who could use their own language,” he said.

And he attributed his success to hard work. “I never stop studying and reading. If I have time, I always find maths problems from teachers or older outstanding students and search on the internet.”

Bak Tuk High School provided the other two winning students in the December competition. Leang Eng Se transferred to the Phnom Penh school from his home in Kampong Cham province. “To be an outstanding student of mathematics, you need to try hard and be smart enough to follow former prize winners. But you also need encouragement from your family and friends – that’s the main thing.”

Ngo Peng Hok transferred to the school last year from Pursat province, where he was a brilliant maths student. He said he had always loved the subject but studying in Phnom Penh had given him an extra chance. HR

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