Smart Axiata in collaboration with the ministries of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), and Posts and Telecommunication (MPTC), signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to “develop future talents and digital corporate leaders”. As part of this, 20 scholarships will be offered to students this year.
Smart aims to partner both ministries in developing top-talents and well-rounded individuals who are eager to actively contribute to the Kingdom’s growth in the new digital era.
As part of the MoU, the company has committed to investing $1.5 million into two programmes – the SmartEdu Scholarship Program and the SmartEdu University Student Development Program (USDP).
A portion of the investment will be from Smart’s contribution towards the Royal Government’s Capacity Building and R&D (CBRD) Fund.
Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said: “Smart has continued to be a strong development partner in introducing education and tech innovation initiatives, including the SmartEdu Scholarship Program and SmartStart Young Innovator Program.
“I am particularly intrigued by the USDP’s comprehensive learning framework that will not only provide knowledge but also encourage ‘learning by doing’”, he said.
Thirty undergraduates have already benefitted from the SmartEdu Scholarship Program which was launched in 2016, and which targets financially challenged Grade 12 graduates with good academic results.
The programme has been enhanced this year with the inclusion of Discovery Days, half-day development workshops for high school students and an Introduction Camp for this year’s 20 selected scholars.
Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications permanent secretary of state, Sarak Khan said: “In line with the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy IV, MPTC will further accelerate its efforts to find new measures to develop Cambodian ICT talents.
“We are excited that the CBRD Fund has been utilised effectively by Smart with its partners to expand the SmartEdu brand to cover leadership development programmes with a digital spin.
During the MoU signing ceremony, Smart also officially launched the USDP, which emulates the successful Axiata Young Talent Program conducted in Malaysia.
Under the programme, 48 top Cambodian university students will take part in a 13-day stay-in bootcamp that will provide participants with theoretical, experiential, personal and relational development opportunities through workshops, business simulations and coaching, centred around various industries.
The winning teams will receive cash prizes while the top five participants will receive a fully-sponsored two-month work exposure at Axiata Group in Malaysia.
The MoU and the newly launched USDP form part of Smart’s commitment to advance Cambodia through education and innovation, in partnership with the two ministries, said Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt.
“This annual programme will be immersive and exciting. I am certain it will unlock many future digital leaders and CEOs,” Hundt said.