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Aust beckons Khmer graduates

Aust beckons Khmer graduates

Five Cambodian lecturers from the University of Phnom Penh have been given

scholarships to Australia.

Oum Phumro, Om Soryong, Bun Leng, So Vanna and

Suos Mon, the only woman, all in their 20s, teach on the University's Teaching

English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course, in the English and Education

Project. The department is funded by AIDAB, who have also provided the

scholarships.

Suos Mon, So Vanna and Om Soryong will do a one-year

Postgraduate Diploma at the University of Canberra. Bun Leng will do a two-year

Masters in Education at Canberra, while Oum Phumro will do a Masters in

Education at the University of New England. They left on Feb 8.

Geoffrey

Coyne, Team Leader on the BEd Programme, said: "The lecturers were selected on

the basis of good academic skills."

AIDAB provides training in Australia

for up to 50 Cambodians each year. The scholarships are available to all public

servants throughout Cambodia. It is up to the Royal Government, said Coyne, to

nominate who would be eligible. The main qualification is to have reached a

reasonable standard of English.

"This is the first time people have gone

specifically for postgraduate qualifications," said Coyne. "Normally, selected

lecturers go for conferences or for three to six month study periods. For this

they have to pass an English Language test and have a recognized BEd TEFL

degree."

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