Newly-launched program Khoding Hero is bringing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to high school students in Cambodia’s southeastern province of Svay Rieng.
USAID’s Digital Workforce Development (DWD) project has teamed up with Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (CADT) to run Khoding Hero, which will encourage tech learning and help CADT volunteers build public speaking, leadership, and interpersonal skills.
The Khoding Hero program expects to attract students in seven high schools and five secondary schools in Svay Reing to pursue careers in science and technology.
Marc Bonnenfant, of USAID Cambodia, said in a release that
Khoding Hero “will benefit high school students in remote Cambodian settings by demonstrating the magic of the digital world and building interest in the field”.
He added “At the same time, youth volunteers will gain valuable real-life experience in project management and teamwork that will help them build future career skills.”
The new Khoding Hero initiative, a creative combination of Khmer and Coding, is a program under USAID’s $15 million DWD project and will be overseen by CADT.
“This program will empower youth to learn about and apply digital technology skills from an early stage,” noted Sopheap Seng, CADT President.
“It will also inspire high school students to study STEM. We want CADT students to contribute their knowledge and skills while building real life experience through community work.”
“The Khoding Hero program was designed to give university students an opportunity to participate in local development through STEM outreach in rural areas where there is a lack of digital/ICT skill information, particularly at the university level,” said Chanda Pen, Chief of Party of the DWD five-year project.
“By harnessing CADT’s student volunteers we encourage rural youth to pursue STEM education and foster a generation of proactive leaders.”
The DWD project works with Cambodian partner institutions to improve the digital skills of Cambodia’s youth and professionals. It also brings experts from prestigious Berkeley in the US to train lecturers and faculty members on strategic decision-making, teach new courses, and design new modules in Cambodia.
By providing, short courses, and training trainers at universities, the project works with Amazon and other international tech companies to deliver cloud computing and other tech certifications. Scholarships, internships, and networking opportunities form integral components of this project.