An international school planning to set up in Phnom Penh later this year is set to launch a recruiting drive for teachers this month.
Singapore Australia International School (SAIS), which will operate out of Grand Phnom Penh International City, is looking for Cambodian teachers and native English speakers with teaching qualifications and experience.
The school will conduct classes in English, meaning Khmer teachers must have good English skills, marketing manager Nguyen Thi My Hanh told Careers & Education. They should also have experience working in kindergarten or primary schools, she said.
Successful applicants will undergo a one-month English training program and those that pass will be sent to Ho Chi Minh City for a three-month attachment with a sister school there.
The proposed school is a member of the KinderWorld Group, which was founded in Singapore in 1986 as a pre-school centre. It expanded into Vietnam and began taking older students from 2000. It curently operates KinderWorld International Kindergartens in five centres in Vietnam, UniWorld International Schools in three centres and Singapore International School in Ho Chi Minh City.
The school was invited to set up in Phnom Penh by the Ciputra Group, the developer behind the Grand Phnom Penh International City, currently under construction. The two have a prior relationship through a school in the company's Ciputra Hanoi development in Vietnam.
We want to provide a new choice for Cambodian
people and foreigners
"The collaboration with Ciputra gave us a push start," KinderWorld business and project development manager Stephen See Kok Soong said. "Working with them enables us to get things done much easier."
Best of all worlds
The name for the new school was chosen because the curriculum will combine the best of the Singapore and Australia curriculums, Soong added. The Australian curriculum will dominate at the lower levels and be replaced by the Singapore curriculum as students get older.
"The Australian curriculum encourages students to be more inquisitive and speak up," he said. "At primary school we will switch to the Singapore curriculum, which is highly efficient in things like science and maths."
At high school level, British and American curriculums will be used to prepare students for higher education and international exams. "We take whatever is the best and merge them into one," Soong said.
The school will launch as a kindergarten only before August, depending on how quickly construction proceeds. It will occupy two villas before expanding into a 1.2-hectare, purpose-built school in the satellite city by 2010. The design is still in the planning stages.
The campus is expected to offer similar facilities as the group's schools in Vietnam, including swimming and indoor sports facilities, an artificial soccer field, tennis courts and playground sets.
When completed, the school will have capacity for between 700 and 1,000 students from pre-nursery though kindergarten, primary and high school.
Despite its location in the satellite city, it is targeting students from all over Phnom Penh. "We are targeting high-income Cambodians and foreigners working here," Hanh said.
She said there were already a number of foreign schools in the city but added that waiting lists at those schools showed the market was far from saturated. "All the international schools are operating at full capacity," she said. "We want to provide a new choice for Cambodian people and foreigners working here."
Fees have not been determined but are expected to be similar to in Vietnam. There fees range from $3,000 to $6,000 per year for kindergarten, depending on whether it was an integrated or international program, from $4,000 to $7,000 for primary school and from $6,000 to $8,000 for high school.