What does it offer?
ONG Institute is the largest and leading private Microsoft small business specialist institution in Cambodia.
It was Cambodia's first Microsoft Gold certified partner. ONG Institute provides opportunities to Cambodians who intend to master Microsoft professional skills.
There are three courses on offer: Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certificated Systems Administrator and Microsoft Certificated Systems Engineers. Courses are offered with morning, afternoon and evening sessions.
Running the show
ONG Institute president, Mr Withyard Ong, graduated in France with a bachelor's degree in computer science in 1983 and master's degree in electronics in 1985. He was a professor at Microsoft in the United States for five years. When he came back to Cambodia, he decided to build a Microsoft school to share his knowledge with Cambodian students. He persevered until he successfully opened the ONG Institute.
While the ONG Institute is not overly strict in choosing its teachers, they must have had at least three years' experience. Teachers undergo a period of probation until they can properly teach and answer all students' questions. Then they are selected as professors for the ONG Institute. Applicants who have a certificate of teaching must still pass a test for employment at this institute.
There are around 300 students enrolled in the ONG Institute. About 20 percent of these are studying elsewhere, while the remainder come from NGOs and companies. Students who want to study at the ONG Institute do not need to have passed high school. Any student can come to study Microsoft at the ONG Institute, but they must have some background knowledge in IT in order for them to study Microsoft. The period of study at ONG Institute is not as long as courses in the other universities.
Students can begin studying from the age of 15, with some studying for three weeks, some for one month and some for three to four months. This depends on the lessons that they are interested in. When they graduate they can find work by using their Microsoft skills.
Fees, scholarships and grants
ONG Institute has different prices and study times compared with other universities or schools. The cost varies according to the courses, with course fees ranging from US$290 to $380. Sometimes discounts are available for poorer students. While the institute does not yet have a scholarship program, it provides the opportunity for seven or eight students from other universities to study free of charge.
Among the 300 students who have registered to study at ONG Institute, 80 percent already have jobs while the other 20 percent are students who should not find it difficult to get a job after graduation.
ONG Institute has plans to expand in the future, with branches in the provinces, including Seam Reap and Preah Sihanouk.
Text and photos: MUM KUNTHEAR
Institute Professor Withyard Ong.
No.10, Street 598, Sangkat Boeng Kok 2, Khan Toul Kork, Phnom Penh.
Tel: 023 88 44 78/ 092 83 8676
Khorn Sophearin, 22, student:
"I chose this institute because there is no other school that teaches Microsoft. The professors here are good, and they have good skills and knowledge related to the lessons and can clearly explain what I don't understand. The cost is a bit expensive for me."
Vann Sopheaktra, 23, student:
"Studying about the Windows server 2008 and I like this institute because it has enough documents and computer for me to practise that is different from the other school that there are many students practise with one computer. When I graduate here I will have a good job in company."