By Sovannrath Ros
Firstly let me introduce myself. My name is Sovannrath Ros. I’m 17. I’m a former student at Samdech Euv High school in Battambang, Cambodia, where I studied for 6 years and graduated from 12th grade in 2018. I’m very glad that you are spending time reading this.
What I’m going to share with all of you today is my personal experience in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) field when I was a high school student. I’ll be sharing how it benefits me when I study at the university, as well as my general perspectives on ICT.
First and foremost, I’d like to introduce you to Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT). Along with the help from their supporters, CCT have provided many computer laptops and offered professional IT instructors to 3 high schools in Battambang City including Samdech Euv High School, where the classes initially started in 2016. I’m so grateful to their supporters for the opportunity they gave me in order to broaden my knowledge of ICT even further.
I took 5 courses in the ICT program during my 11th and 12th grade. They were the Basics of ICT I and II, Adobe Photoshop, and the fundamentals of Web Design and Robotic Programming. The Basics of ICT and Adobe Photoshop were included in the daily schedule as core subjects in my high school. Web Design and Robotic Programming were 2-week courses which CCT offered as extra classes during the school vacations.
There are still a number of Cambodian teenagers who may not find technology potentially useful in their study, especially when they are in high school. I would say that technology is crucial for every level of education. It encourages you to research and do extra study online and is also great in letting you access more sources of learning. Plus, there are many applications created just for high school students to learn more on their own. Personally, ICT has always helped me along my learning journey.
There are two main ways that knowing some fundamentals of technology benefits me at a tertiary level. As most of you may already know, most assignments at the tertiary level are required to be typed, thus you will find it a struggle if you don’t know the basics of ICT. More importantly, having taken the above-mentioned courses is a real plus for me. As I am now doing a civil engineering degree, I must get used to the many computer programs that are required in this field. I have learnt some basic coding in MATLAB at my university in the first semester. Thanks to the 2 short courses in Web Design and Robotic Programming which I took in high school, I could easily become familiar with the languages that are used in these coding classes. There are definitely differences in how the commands are used in various types of coding programs, but it really helps when it is not your first time writing codes.
Lastly, this is the 21st century and the concept of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has been widely used by everyone who wishes to advance their lifestyle in many ways (for example their studies, careers, communities, and even the whole society). Personally, I would say that to improve learning outcomes and teach 21st-century skills (such as the use of technology, self-motivation, problem-solving and teamwork), formal education and programmes that provide support for educators to integrate ICTs into interactive teaching approaches should be put in place.
“Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”United Nations Resolution 66/170
On April 27th 2017, United Nations agencies introduced thousands of girls and women to careers in coding and robotics as part of its annual ‘International Girls in ICT Day’ celebrations around the world. This day was created to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in the field of information and communication technologies.
I would highly recommend more young people, especially girls, get involved in the ICT sector. Although you may not the best in this field, it is something worth trying as it is very useful for gaining a better position in today’s society. Although gender discrimination, lack of confidence, language difficulties, low literacy and lack of time and money are barriers that continue to prevent young women from taking full advantage of technology, these days the world is looking forward to seeing the potential of capable women working in ICT as well as creating a better gender proportion in the workplace.
The technology sector is one of the fastest-growing industries globally, but it is experiencing a skills gap. So what are you waiting for? Start your first step in the ICT field today and see the world from a different perspective!