Completing Semester 1 marked the first milestone for the PEPY scholars who arrived in Siem Reap last November. As well as managing their university and vocational studies, they have been attending afternoon classes at our Learning Center. Here’s the latest results from ICT and English classes.
Most of the students had no prior experience of using a computer. Many felt scared of making mistakes and did not know what to do. Now, just by completing the first semester, they have gained lots of confidence and knowledge in the basic use of a computer.
During the first semester, the students’ learned about Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. The lessons were broken down into theory and practical, and as individual and group learning. The students had the opportunity to discuss the applications in small groups, and then present their findings to the rest of the class, giving them practical experience in verbal presentation also. We encouraged them to consider how to apply what they had learned to a variety of different work place situations. The scenarios allowed them to see the value in what they were being taught giving them skills to take into the workplace.
E-communications, use of the internet, and how to ‘Google’, proved popular activities. They have established their own Gmail accounts and can now send emails. Understanding how to use the internet has assisted them greatly with researching assignments and allowed them to access to a whole new range of resources.
February’s exam consisted of both a theory paper based, and a practical test. The majority of the class passed the exam and showed a good level of understanding. Three of the students produced excellent marks and were awarded a certificate: Chhouy Ronouch, Chouem Chhorliheang, and Serey Chhim.
“It really hard for me to start with the first computer class with no experience … I am really pleased that I have a chance to learn there with a very good teacher, warm friends, and have a comfortable computer class”
– Chhouy Ronouch
“I have been learning computer in PEPY‘s center and I [find it] hard to study because I never learn it before but I want to improve my knowledge. I am interested in ICT class because I want to work in the bank. So I will to learn and like it so much”
– Chouem Chhorliheang
“My subject in university is accounting. And I study English and ICT in PEPY Center. Since I study computer in PEPY Center I know about computer a lot and I can understand and use computer like Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Before I don’t know about it”
– Serey Chhim
It has been a very busy first semester for the students. A lot of new vocabulary has been learned, lots of essays written, discussions had, and an understanding of grammar is being developed. The exam results reflect a good three months of learning. The majority of students are progressing well, and those we have identified require more support are now receiving additional tutoring. According to exam results, the biggest strength of students appears to be in writing.
Soben, the Learning Center’s English teacher, has worked very hard to bring a variety of teaching techniques to the classroom to make the learning fun and interesting. Understanding the challenge of keeping the students engaged and interested, he has been meeting with other teachers in Siem Reap to share ideas.
At the start of the semester, most of the students were very shy to answer questions and participate in discussions. Now, students are responding more confidently as their knowledge and vocabulary increases.
“It is important for students to be confident and relaxed when talking in front of others and this is a skill that needs to be learned and practised”
– Soben, English teacher at the Learning Center