Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Spreading opportunities through social media



Spreading opportunities through social media

The WEduShare team spreads information and educational opportunities through its Facebook page. Photo supplied
The WEduShare team spreads information and educational opportunities through its Facebook page. Photo supplied

Spreading opportunities through social media

To stay competitive in both local and regional labour markets, one requires more than just formal education, according to Boromey Sreang, the co-founder of educational Facebook page WEduShare.

This belief has driven him and his two co-founders to start spreading information, ranging from internship opportunities to study abroad programmes, through Facebook.

Given the ease of disseminating information on a large-scale quickly, Facebook pages with a focus on education and sharing educational opportunities are increasing in popularity in the Kingdom.

WEduShare, one such page, has amassed more than 80,000 likes and followers since its launch in May 2016.

“Without social media, specifically Facebook, we would probably need to spend a lot of resources and time to grow this fast. Technology has taken out so many barriers, allowing everyone to gain access to information and equal opportunities,” Sreang said.

Student Phallymanita Rin, who checks educational Facebook pages about three times a week, shared: “As a Cambodian high school student, I find it hard accessing opportunities without [education-related] online platforms. On top of that, [the online platforms] are convenient and fast because I don’t have to ride my motorbike from one place to another in order to search for opportunities.”

This new education platform is being propelled by Cambodia’s insatiable appetite for using the Internet, especially social media.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
WEduShare co-founder Boromey Sreang. Photo supplied

In a 2016 study on mobile phones and Internet use in Cambodia published by The Asia Foundation, it was found that 30 percent of Cambodians accessed information through the Internet and/or Facebook, making it the dominant channel for information.

Young Cambodians’ increasing use of social media has assisted education-centred Facebook page Ahladang, which provides scholarship information and informal education to over 120,000 followers.

“We were prompted to start Ahladang in late 2015 because we wanted to provide scholarship [information] and English lessons to students through distance coaching. Facebook allows us to send information to students quickly,” Ahladang co-founder Virakdara Sor said.

Ahladang user VivPov Last said the Facebook page is useful in supplementing his learning from textbooks.

“[Checking] Ahladang is part of me [using] Facebook. I think this page is good in telling me how to use grammar, [sentence] structures and vocabularies, but my books are also very important,” Last said.

Increasing accessibility of scholarship information
Posts on both local and international scholarships are the most popular on the WEduShare Facebook page, according to Sreang.

“Currently, we are working with some institutions and universities abroad to bring scholarships directly to Cambodian students and make students all over the country in both rural and urban areas aware of the opportunities.”

WEduShare user Kithya Ouch said that educational Facebook pages are important because they make information more accessible.

Apart from WEduShare, Ouch listed YDP Cambodia and Scholarship for Cambodia as other Facebook pages he checks.

Ouch said: “Scholarship and educational information can be accessed easily with just a few clicks. Thus, this allows more people to pick up the opportunities.”

A recipient of the Chevening scholarship, Ouch also added that Facebook was a way of bringing like-minded people together, as in the case of a WEduShare mentorship program that connected interested applicants to a previous awardee of the scholarship.

The Chevening scholarship is awarded to outstanding students in Cambodia, allowing them to pursue a one-year master’s programme at any university in the United Kingdom.

“I had known and prepared for [the Chevening scholarship] before the establishment of the WEduShare Facebook page. However, a year ago, the page introduced a mentorship program. Despite our tight schedule, we [the five mentees] had productive sessions [with our mentors], and it allowed more than half of us to be shortlisted for the scholarship,” Ouch said.

On ways social media can be further harnessed for education, Sreang said: “I have a very strong belief in live video. With fast Internet speed and penetration in Cambodia, live videos can be a key solution to teacher shortages and difficulties having access to schools. [Live videos] can give every child in Cambodia access to quality education.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Khmer influence growing in Hollywood

    The rare success of The Cleaning Lady – an American TV series which stars Cambodian-French Hollywood actress Elodie Yung – sheds some light on Asian immigrants to the US, yet a significant representation gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) exists both on screen and behind

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of