My Priceless Three Months with BOOKBRIDGE Cambodia

Yourngchantreara Sao is Country Manager Assistant for Cambodia
Ra has joined BOOKBRIDGE Cambodia three months ago.

Three months ago Yourngchantreara “Ra” Sao started his job as Country Manager Assistant at BOOKBRIDGE Cambodia. In this article he looks back at his first months at BOOKBRIDGE.

“In just a couple of days’ time, I will have been working for BOOKBRIDGE for a span of exactly three months. So what is my impression then over these last few months, you may be asking? But, let me ask you back ‘What kind of impression is it? Is it my impression on the people I have met to date? Or is it my impression on the BOOKBRIDGE programs and approaches I have been acquainted with? Or is it my impression on each learning center and the locality of it? Or is it my impression on the progress, results, achievements and outcomes of the learning centers? Or is it all of them?’

Young local monks enjoy reading books at Learning Centre Takeo.
Young local monks enjoy reading books at Learning Centre Takeo.

So, let me start with BOOKBRIDGE programs and approaches. Although BOOKBRIDGE is not really my very first job, it is definitely going to be the one where my passion truly lies. It is indeed quite new to me when it comes down to the unique programs and approaches BOOKBRIDGE is embracing. I strongly support BOOKBRIDGE in her mission to work against all odds to realize her vision: worldwide quality education for less fortunate children such as those in Cambodia. With this vision firmly in mind, BOOKBRIDGE works on three areas which are of growing interest to me, namely quality education, social entrepreneurship, and quality English courses. I do believe in the culture of quality education, which potentially empowers Cambodian youngsters to live a fulfilling and worthwhile life. I do believe in the culture of quality English courses that potentially equip Cambodian youngsters to take full advantage of globalization, multi-national economic integration and the digital revolution. And, I do believe in the culture of social entrepreneurship, which potentially addresses many chronic problems be it of social, economic, political, cultural or environmental kind.

Typical activities in class at Learning Center Takeo
Typical activities in class at Learning Center Takeo

How about the people I met so far? If truth be told, I have met really talented Cambodians with hidden raw talent and with a gigantic amount of untapped potential that remains to be fully utilized and exploited. I hope for the full unitization and optimization of the local brains and talents by strategically and pragmatically building their technical capacity, competencies and skills. Besides, they also need more motivations and inspirations. I also hope for more promising initiatives and ideas from the local teachers, staff members, Head of Learning Centers and everyone else so that our learning centers can progress and head in the right direction.

Students discuss a lesson in groups.
Students discuss a lesson in groups.

I can see that all BOOKBRIDGE learning centers are up and running, operating on a daily basis, and yet they have to progress and move forward more speedily and qualitatively. If we are to set an example and precedence for others to follow, we have to be more open-minded, broaden our perspectives and be ready to embrace painful and tough changes. More attention and focus is needed for the qualitative and intangible aspects of the learning centers such as teaching and learning quality and students’ learning outcomes besides tangible and quantitative aspects such as infrastructure, classrooms, library and facilities.

I am proud to be Cambodian. I have always been inspired by many great Cambodians out there, and I am really touched and moved by the complex realities and problems on the ground in typical rural communities although I have also been somewhat agitated at the daunting challenges both ridiculously trivial and complex. Yet, I am convinced and confident that together we can make Cambodia a better place once and for all.”

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