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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - State Department program to boost students’ English skills

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Students accept their scholarships during a ceremony on January 12. Photo supplied

State Department program to boost students’ English skills

The English Access Micro-scholarship Program will provide underprivileged children daily access to two years of English-language education.

Thirty-five students from the NGO Anjali House have been offered a two-year English education scholarship thanks to a US State Department program.

Founded in 2005, Anjali House supports education access for underprivileged children. It supports 120 students from poor families – many of whose income is less than $100 per month.

Through Anjali House, these students are supported with uniforms and books to be able to attend government school. In addition, they learn computing, English and a range of arts skills at the NGO.

The partnership with the state department, called the English Access Micro-scholarship Program, will provide nearly three dozen students with one extra hour of English instruction every day for two years, said Anjali House communications and fundraising manager Siobhan Frey.

During a ceremony on January 12, US Ambassador William Heidt presented each student with a certificate of acceptance into the program. “It was really heartening to see such a show of attendance from the parents,” Frey said.

“It’s important for the children and the parents and it shows their commitment to their children’s education.”

One 15-year-old student named Sokaum explained why the program would be important for him. “I want to be a tour guide, so learning English is very important for me to achieve this,” he said.

A previous version of this article misidentified the State Department English Access Micro-scholarship Program as new. It was created in 2004.
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