Twenty-five students working in three teams have published an informative book which presents up-to-date information on the major industries of the Cambodian economy. It also explains economic concepts in Khmer and English.

The first team began the initial research and began outlining the book. The second group conducted additional research and wrote the content, with the third team designing the book’s layout.

Cambodian Economy Book Volume 2 was a two year project by the students of the Liger Leadership Academy (LLA), and was recently launched at Sisowath New Generation School’s Centre for Digital and Distance Learning.

“The student authors began the project in Grade 10, or in Year 4 of the scholarship program,” said Hannah Trivitt, learning facilitator at LLA.

She said that LLA educates the promising youth of today to develop socially conscious, entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow.

Disadvantaged students are given the chance to access a residential scholarship program that combines a comprehensive, internationally competitive education with an innovative STEM and entrepreneurship curriculum.

Liger believes a meaningful investment in the right few will change the lives of many, she added.

In the past, Liger students have published many educational resources, including The Illustrated Guide to Wildlife, The Cambodian Economy Vol. 1, and The Geography of Cambodia.

“The project’s goal was to not only learn more about the Cambodian economy but also to develop more communication skills, design and creative arts skills, as well as presentation,” Trivitt told The Post.

Students are not just required to publish books, but rather are encouraged to create helpful and useful tools or resources that will have a positive impact on Cambodian society. A printed resource is just one of those tools, said Trivitt.

Students conducted extensive online research as well as contacting the appropriate ministries for each sectors of the economy and requesting online interviews. Requests were made for specific data from the years 2015-2020.

Once students gathered information and data, they spent time outlining their writing as a small group and then had it approved by their learning facilitators.

Simultaneously, students were learning about the form of technical and informational writing, how to integrate research into writing, properly cite sources, and analyse information in a way that is accessible for readers who are unfamiliar with economic terminology.

Students were given time during their scheduled project hours but also were challenged to dedicate time outside of class to writing and editing.

An initial run of 1,000 books has been published.

“The 500 page book presents up-to-date educational information from credible sources on 9 major sectors of the Cambodian economy and explains complex economic concepts in an engaging and accessible style in both Khmer and English,” said Trivitt.

She explained that it incorporates numerous statistical graphics, lucid economics glossaries, and many other elements to assist the reader in their understanding of the content.

“At its core, it aims to present economics as an enjoyable and accessible subject to Cambodian high school and university students,” she added.

Trivitt said the time spent on the project was appropriate as the resource would be a timestamp and provide a snapshot of the Cambodian economy from 2015-2021.

The first volume was written by Liger alumni and was published in 2015, she said, adding that the goal of the first volume was to learn about the Cambodian economy and produce a resource for kids written by kids.

One of the Liger team members holding the Cambodian Economy book she helped write. PHOTO SUPPLIED

“The scope and depth of study, research, and analysis in the second volume required a higher level of research skills,” said Trivitt.

She added that the students themselves created high standards for themselves as they began researching, and the facilitators responded to their desire to learn and understand more by asking more questions to spark inquiry.

Under secretary of state of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport Sann Vathana, said LLA is an excellent example of innovative education, one where real-life context, 21st century skills and technology are brought to the curriculum through a project-based learning approach.

“Students are encouraged to become independent, active and collaborative learners and critical thinkers,” said Vathana.

The project involved three learning facilitators – Hannah Trivitt, Keith Simpson and Bunthan Un, and fourteen content researchers and writers – Angely Rose, Chey Makara Chan, Engtieng Ourn, Huykea Sun, Kimhor Bun, Lyhour Roeun, Mariya Phan, Mey Mey Khoem, Panharith Pov, Rachana Chen, Sara Votey Mom, Sereyvutha Thul, Virak Bandeth Thay and Viriya Savoeun.

The final team of eleven were responsible for layout and design, and consisted of Yanich Khin, Chan Reaksmey Sor, Chan Sakseth Preab, Dalen En, Molinaka Lim, Morokot Bopha Um, Panharith Pov, Sythannarak Yim, Sopheakdey Bov, Rayuth Nuth Khonn, and Socheata Chea.

Angely Rose, content researcher and writer, said that as can be seen from the years put into this book, it is apparent that the whole Liger Leadership Academy valued the project very much.

“As authors, we tried our best every step of the way, from researching and studying to writing and editing,” said Rose, adding “We dedicated ourselves to making sure this book would be an excellent educational resource for students, youth and anyone curious about the economy of Cambodia.”

“We certainly hope readers find this book not only educational, but also interesting and engaging. We strive to highlight the most important facts and data and hope that the readers will learn many new things along the way,” she told The Post.

Yanich Khin, design and layout leader, said that all of the authors and designers were thrilled to see their two year’s worth of work published and launched to the public.

She said they feel a sense of relief and gratification at seeing the final outcome of the project, as all of them had put so much of themselves into the work.

“To see our vision become a reality has brought us great joy and made the entire creation process a valuable learning experience,” she says.

Sereyvutha Thul and Khin outlined some of the difficulties they faced while panning the content and structure of the work.

“The Cambodian economy consists of many sectors and industries that contribute in different manners to the aggregate economy, so we had a little trouble sifting through each one of them,” they said.

“In the end, we resolved this problem by going with the sectors and industries that contributed to the Cambodian economy the most heavily. After the first stage, we immediately began drafting, and conceiving of Khmer interpretations,” they said.

As a facilitator, Trivitt said she was deeply impressed by the students’ determination and hunger for knowledge.

Throughout the project, the students showed leadership – by identifying opportunities – and demonstrated curiosity throughout research. They demonstrated their integrity and have produced an engaging learning resource that will no doubt have a positive impact on education in Cambodia, she added.

“The event was a success and marked yet another key milestone for Liger and Cambodia. We extend of gratitude to the education ministry for hosting the event and thank all of the attendees for their presence,” said Trivitt.