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Six local students make it to Microsoft contest finals

Team ISSR at the awards ceremony in Phnom Penh. Back row, from left to right: Tan Bunho, James Kernick, Junmin Kim. Front row, left to right: Giovani Levina, William Kernick and Elena Lee.
Team ISSR at the awards ceremony in Phnom Penh. Back row, from left to right: Tan Bunho, James Kernick, Junmin Kim. Front row, left to right: Giovani Levina, William Kernick and Elena Lee. GLYNIS JONES

Six local students make it to Microsoft contest finals

Six students from the International School of Siem Reap (ISSR) made it through to the finals of a Microsoft Office technology skills competition organised by IIG Education Cambodia and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Phnom Penh this week.

Competing against more than a hundred other students from schools and universities from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Battambang in the Cambodia leg of the Certiport 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship, the students aged between 13 and 16 battled in three different categories: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Although the Siem Reap students did not make it through to the Grand Finals which will be held in Disneyland from July 27-30, ISSR principal Richard Halliday says they were thrilled to take part, with one of them achieving a ‘Microsoft Specialist’ certificate for an exceptionally high score.

“We’re really proud and honoured to have been invited in the first place to take part in the competition,” says Halliday.

“It was exciting for our students to get the opportunity to compete against other students. We’re a high school but there were also university students there. One of our students, William Kernick, actually achieved a qualification score of over 700 out of 1000 in PowerPoint, which put him in with a chance of going to America, so we’re very proud of that.

“It was an amazing opportunity for our students to meet students from other schools, and also to travel to Phnom Penh together, getting to see some of Phnom Penh at the same time.”

US-based Certiport has been running the global competition since 2002, but this is the first year Cambodia has participated.

Representing the Kingdom in California in July will be Mak Sayphearoth from the National University of Management, Kong Divin from the University of Puthisastra and Leng Socheat from Royal University of Phnom Penh.

The three national winners will undergo further training at IIG Education Cambodia between now and then in order to strengthen their technical skills, says business development manager Linda Ouk.

“This is a window to showcase Cambodian young talents to the world,” Ouk said. She added, “We believe that this competition will help Cambodia in its preparation for the 2015 ASEAN Economic Integration by enhancing quality education, especially in I.T. for future Cambodian skilled workers.”

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