With September just around the corner and as another school semester starts, a new school in Phnom Penh will be opening its doors.
British Cambodia International School (BCIS), a school that will provide classes for kindergarten to grade six, has built its curriculum on national UK standards that employs strict placement exams to ensure that students enter the right grade for their age and ability to ensure the best possible learning environment.
By providing them the necessary skills to succeed, their vision reaches beyond the classroom.
“We want our students to grow with all the skills required to become successful in life,” said British Cambodian International School founder Heng Piseth. “We want them not just to become leaders but good leaders.”
BCIS offers affordable programs because Piseth believes that Cambodia’s youth deserves a proper education.
“I don’t want to educate a few 100 people, I want to educate more than that. They deserve better,” Heng said. “I want more Cambodian’s to have a better life than they have now.”
By following the same principles that have designed their curriculum, BCIS has high standards when employing teachers. To Heng, this is important because providing an inspiring mentor leaves a lasting impression.
“Kids get attached to their teachers; they look up to them. If a teacher has the right attitude of helping each other out, the kids will want to be that way too,” Jamie Boland, general manager of BCIS, said.
Their curriculum will focus on integrated languages but will also teach social studies, geography, arts, music and sports, such as swimming, physical education and karate. Later in the year, they plan to add more extra-curricular activities that students can join after school.
In addition, one thing that BCIS wants to teach is accountability. As students learn and grow with BCIS, they will be given the tools to become responsible, problem-solving adults.
“We want our students to become good citizens with the education we integrate into our programs,” said Heng. “To do this, we establish a strong connection between teachers, students, parents and the school.”
As the school grows, BCIS plans to add grade levels up to grade 12 so students will be able to have stable, high-quality education until they graduate high school. In addition, they plan to add workshops, seminars and programs to help the students realize their academic and professional goals—something that Piseth believes is missing from many programs operating in Cambodia.
“Many times, a problem I see is that students are lost after high school,” said Heng. “We don’t want our students to leave [school] feeling defeated. If we look around the world, a good curriculum” is the backbone of success.
But within Phnom Penh’s competitive education sector, Piseth believes that the results will speak for themselves after both parents and students see the value of a rigorous education.
“It’s not easy to incorporate our vision, but we know we will succeed,” said Heng.