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SCIA developing cross-cultural competencies in future leaders

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The academic team at SCIA comprises some 40 teaching staff from 15 different nationalities, giving students exposure to global perspectives. Photo supplied

SCIA developing cross-cultural competencies in future leaders

Major cities around the world are increasingly cosmopolitan. To thrive in this global age, youths of today must cultivate a broad worldview and the ability to work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, with different ideas and perspectives.

However, taking pride in their own cultural heritage, staying well-informed about national issues, and contributing actively to their local communities ensure rootedness to the country of birth and appreciation of their heritage.

Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy (SCIA) recognises the importance of developing cross-cultural competencies, as part of her mission to inspire future leaders. Besides academic performance, SCIA imparts soft skills through Holistic Education Learning Model and signature programmes comprising Leadership, Entrepreneurship and STEM.

Highlights of the Cross-Cultural Experiences at SCIA Trilingual Education: SCIA students attend compulsory lessons in three languages – English, Chinese and Khmer. Early exposure to multiple languages lays a foundation for students to pursue them at more advanced levels later on in the upper grades of education. While English is the main medium of instruction, SCIA also emphasises the appreciation of Asian culture through learning of Khmer and Chinese.

Cultural Activities: At SCIA, students participate in celebrations of major festivals of various cultures and nationalities. These include Khmer New Year, Pchum Ben, Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese New Year and Christmas. One of the co-curricular activities offered is the Khmer Cultural Club, which is open to students from all nationalities for them to learn about local traditions and practices. By getting first-hand involvement, students gain a deeper understanding about the diversity amongst their peers and the significance of these special occasions.

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SCIA students learn three languages and participate in various cultural events and celebrations. Photo supplied

Learning Journeys and Immersions: Opportunities abound for SCIA students to travel overseas for Learning Journeys and Immersion; and at times, participation in overseas competitions. In the past academic year, SCIA students travelled to Singapore, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, appreciating lessons beyond the constraints of the four walls. More destinations will be planned in the next few years, to widen the students’ horizons. SCIA has partnered the School of Science and Technology (SST) from Singapore in a Service Learning project for the local community in Silk Island. Such trips provide an authentic platform for students to interact and forge friendships with their counterparts from other countries.

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Values are not taught, but caught. SCIA students serve their local community through Service Learning projects. Photo supplied

International Academic Team: On a daily basis, SCIA students learn from a team of qualified international teachers. SCIA’s academic team comprises some 40 teaching staff from 15 different nationalities, led by school leaders experienced in the Cambridge curriculum and Singapore education system. The teachers bring their diverse know-how and perspectives to the classrooms, giving students a multi-faceted and global outlook, in the comfort of the SCIA facilities.

Values are not taught, but caught: Unlike facts and knowledge, cross-cultural skills and values such as empathy and respect cannot be imparted merely through lectures and reading of textbooks. Through meaningful activities such as experiential learning, participating in competitions, contributing to the disadvantaged communities, positive values are introduced and hopefully adopted by the students. By creating the above optimal learning experiences and environment, SCIA strives to sow seeds of cross-cultural competencies deep in the hearts and minds of the students, who aspire to be future leaders in this global age.

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