Preah Sisowath High School is the premiere public high school in Phnom Penh. It recently instituted a New Generation School (NGS). The NGS is now 3 years old.
It has already benefitted learning outcomes for Cambodian students. We spoke to Vice Principal Sam Kamsann via email to learn more about the NGS, and about how students at New Generation School manage the transition to secondary education.
By using better accreditation systems to ensure effective learning with a high level of good governance, transparency, accountability and participation, all students are given greater chances of academic success.
With the institution of new technology, many students initially needed supplemental classes. NGS provided these extra classes free of charge. This has helped to modernize the equity learning environment, and also ensured that no child is left behind.
The transitional difficulties at NGS are evidenced in student adjustment to new methodology, a change to critical thinking, an increase in teaching and learning hours, and a change in students’ individual mind set.
All of this can present an intimidating front to a new student. At first sight the students may feel a bit weird, these are new, subject specific classrooms. There are even differences in the layout of the student seating in these classrooms. These are world class facilities however, and students quickly adjust to their new surrounds.
Some students would even prefer to stay at school after hours, as they soon feel free to study or relax and take advantage of benefits such as the new library, the free wifi, and a new study room for students to work in.
There is strong competition to join the ranks of students at NGS. An entrance exam is required; it consists of Mathematics, Khmer literature, Science, as well as critical thinking.
The benefits once students are enrolled are multiple. The high standard of teaching, the integrated methods (Problem Based Learning, Brain Based Learning, creativity based learning and professional learning communities), the chance to participate in national and international competitions, are all big draw cards. But the outcomes of entrepreneurship, creativity, critical thinking, multi-culture knowledge, are all worth the effort, as they will be of value as student’s progress.
NGS likes to stay ahead of any possible transitional student issues by encouraging students to maintain transparency and accountability, to commit to achieving their goals, and to do so by maintaining a fair and equal approach.
A very important factor in a smooth transition is maintaining an open line of communication with students, parents and teachers. Parents play a vital role in a student’s education. Parent teacher conferences and the use of social media mean that these communicative lines are always open.
NGS gave us some golden rules to adhere to when choosing your secondary school. Remember that you cannot compromise on quality, whether it is facilities, teachers, curriculums, or location.
Secondly knowledge is not given away, you must earn it. For students, they must be aware that secondary school is academically demanding, but if they put in the work, there is no limit to the outcome that they may achieve in later life.
Last but not least, try to have fun learning, this is a time of physical and mental growth and should be enjoyed.