Teenage Students Launch Book on Cambodian Economics

A comprehensive 500-page book on Cambodia’s economics that took more than 20 teenage students two years to research, write, and design has officially been launched.
Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) students at the book launch (Kiripost/Siv Channa)
Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) students at the book launch (Kiripost/Siv Channa)

A team of 20-plus teenage high school students have poured their curiosity and determination into a 500-page book on Cambodia’s economy, officially released on Friday.

On Friday, Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) launched, Cambodian Economy Book Volume 2, at Sisowath New Generation School’s Center for Digital and Distance Learning.

Young LLA student and one of the book’s authors, Rose Angely, told Kiripost, “My best moment writing the book was meeting with the government ministerial officials to directly ask questions and collect information.” The young authors conducted meetings with eight ministries to gather information.

Dominic Sharpe, Liger Leadership Academy country director (Kiripost/Siv Channa)
Dominic Sharpe, Liger Leadership Academy country director (Kiripost/Siv Channa)

At the book launch, Dominic Sharpe, LLA country director, told the audience that included Kea Borann of AMK Microfinance Institution, which sponsored $10,000 towards the book, that the project and publication is groundbreaking for any country, not just Cambodia.

“Today marks another year of milestones in LLA history in Cambodia. It’s another book to add to the library,” he said. Sharpe added that when you read the book, it is easy to forget who researched, authored, edited and designed it. “It’s all done by Cambodian high school students. It’s done by LLA students. Everybody in Cambodia should be proud of this achievement,” he said.

“This book is an example of the physical embodiment of our education, philosophy, and methodology, relevant knowledge gained through experience and hard work,” said the country director of LLA, which was founded by Trevor Gile and Agnieszka Tynkiewicz-Gile in 2012.

Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), Sann Vathana said in his opening remark that he has known LLA for more than 10 years, during which time he has met many talented students. 

“I’m glad to be here for the launch of the Cambodian Economy Book Volume 2, written, edited, and designed by 20-plus students from LLA,” he said. “By writing, we can create new knowledge. By writing, we can motivate and inspire others.”

The book covers nine major sectors (Kiripost/Siv Channa)
The book covers nine major sectors (Kiripost/Siv Channa)

The book covers nine major sectors. Among them are agriculture, banking and finance, construction, manufacturing, and tourism of the Cambodian economy.

Keith Simpson, one of the content facilitators working with student writers, noted, “We hope this is a step to inspire and empower young Cambodians to take active roles in the Cambodian economy and support its growth.” 

Simpson has taught economics in Cambodia for more than 10 years. Speaking of students’ determination, he added, “At every step, our students have already exceeded the high expectations we had placed on them.”

The first volume, published in 2015, was adopted for use in Cambodian schools nationwide.

Thul Vutha, another author who took to the stage at the launch, said Cambodian Economy book volume 2 also helps readers to understand “how the future of the sector is and how it will progress in the next five to 10 years”.

Equally important is designing the book. Book designer Khin Yanich told the event that she spent most of her time conducting independent research and self-learning as she is a high schooler trying to create a 500-page book on the complex topic of economics.

LLA’s teaching methodology is “an entrepreneurial approach to education with an institution (LLA) that teaches children through project, opportunity and experiential-based learning, on top of essential curriculum”.

“The fact is, as the world’s changing so fast, we have no idea, as educators and parents, what a young person today is going to need to know in 10 or 20 years from now,” Gile, founder and chairperson of LLA’s board of directors, told CNBC Make It in 2019.

Join Kiripost on Telegram