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Our school values and has innovative initiatives around parent engagement, environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and technology. CIA FIRST has a partnership with the Rotary Club (“Interact” – the Rotary Club’s international youth service club for youth 12 – 18 years of age). In addition, we have three Parents as Partners Associations (Kindergarten, Elementary, and Middle/High School). We are very proud of the quality of education that our students receive and we are constantly striving to find new partnerships to keep CIA FIRST growing and improving.
1. How would you describe the CIA FIRST Educational Program?
CIA FIRST International School offers a USA-based educational program that is designed to develop global competence, analytical and critical thinking skills, while meeting the needs of students from diverse language and cultural backgrounds. We believe in educating the “whole child” and that the best student outcomes occur when there is strong engagement and empowerment of parents as the child’s first and foremost teacher. It is also critical to have schools, families, and the community all working together to support the education and development of the child. We provide co-curricular subjects such as Information and Communication Technology, Music, Art, Physical Education, Swimming, French, Chinese, as well as a range of clubs and societies. Furthermore, all full-time students have the option of pairing their international program with the Khmer curriculum elective, which has been recognized by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport.
2.What was the original purpose in establishing CIA FIRST International School?
International quality education must be accessible for all children around the world. Due to a tremendously wide gap in quality and price between poor education institutions and international quality education institutions in 2004, the Cambodia International Academy (CIA) was created in order to fill this gap and offer high quality international education at an affordable price.
3. How far has CIA FIRST progressed since its inception?
From an enrollment of 16 students in 2004, to 555 students in 2010 the school now has an overall population of more than 1,200 students. We cater to the growing middle class of Cambodians and to foreigners. All of us at CIA FIRST International School place high demands on our curriculum, teaching quality, co-curricular activities, facilities, and school management. We have developed a culture of strong teamwork, embracing all stakeholders of the school community. We have reached a level in all above mentioned criteria which exceeds school standards found in developed and western countries. Yet, even amidst all this success, we are keenly aware that ourimprovement efforts must never cease.
4. In School Year 2013-2014, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) added the English Language subject in the national curriculum from Grade 4 upward. What is CIA FIRST’s view on this decision?
I am glad that this important step was taken and it shows that worldwide goverments start to recognize that the future of each country lies in the hands of the next generation which needs to be equipped from early years on with a global mindset, and in particular tolerance and a strong sense of local and global responsibility. English is a difficult language to learn for the Cambodian people but English proficiency is and will always be a fundamental tool to move the Cambodian society toward a just, prosperous and global minded society.
5. In terms of the development of human resources in Cambodia, what are CIA FIRST’s major plans/strategies?
We do not see people as human resources but as human potential. It is more than frustrating to see how low-quality education is still dominating the education system in many countries. CIA FIRST International School has taken a leading role in the development of human potential and we have already started to reach out to local and international education NGOs, other private schools but also to institutions as the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) and private companies for collaboration. After the opening of a new, modern and innovative campus in school year 2014/2015 I envision the integration of public schools into our system of collaboration in the future. Only if working together as a team, including all stakeholders of the education system in Cambodia, we will reach our goal: The creation of a just, prosperous and global-minded society.
Mr. André Struve
Director of CIA FIRST International School
There are currently three PaPA’s at CIA FIRST International School:
1) Kindergarten PaPA,
2) Elementary PaPA, and
3) Middle-High School PaPA. Each of these PaPA’s is led by parents who have been elected by
their peers to serve as PaPA officers.
“As a former teacher I know about what makes for a strong, high-quality school and about the important difference that receiving a good education makes in a person’s life. I am very pleased with the education that my son is receiving at CIA FIRST International School and I also like that the school supports us, as parents, to partner in supporting our children’s education. I am pleased to be able to serve as the Chairperson of the Elementary Parents as Partners Association at CIA FIRST International School.”
Mr. Sok Heng Phay
Human Quality Manager, Phnom Penh International Airport
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18. In Cambodia, the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh (RCPP) has envisioned the formation of the first Interact Club in Cambodia under its New Generations Service Committee which is spearheaded by Rotarian Andre “Eagle” Struve, the Director of Cambodia International Academy (CIA) FIRST International School, located in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
Each year, an Interact Club is challenged to complete at least 2 community service projects, one of which furthers global understanding and goodwill. Through these efforts, members of the Interact Club (Interactors) develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs as well as learn the importance of developing leadership skills and personal integrity; demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others; understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work; and advancing international understanding and goodwill.
Last February 21, 2013, a pre-organizational meeting with 90 CIA FIRST students was facilitated by Rotarian Andre at the international school. As Interact Faculty Advisor, he expounded the mandate and key responsibilities of each Interact officer positions as well as delved on the intricacy related to the democratic election of officers of the school-based Club. Nominees to the posts of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer transpired smoothly with each nominee given an opportunity to articulate his/her thoughts to the general membership. A list of nominees for the 4 positions were then conspicuously posted around the school campus for the electorate to have their educated choices.
On the following day, February 22, 30 students of Interact ages, convened for secret ballot election of the officer positions.
Nominees for the President were Assan Akbota, Meng Judisak and Samnangsrei Vattana; for Vice-President : Chhay Por, Kimyang Chenda, Lim Virya and Chhean Yuphea; for Secretary : Sambath Pich, Beng Sopheavong, Humphrey Gabriel and San Oudom; and for Treasurer : Hojeong Lee, Vorn Sophea Thepdey and Bun Thun Wadhanak.
Ballot counting was performed by Faculty Interact Advisor Rotarian Andre together with 2 witnesses, Mr. Pagna and Ms. Theary, CIA FIRST International School’s Human Resource and Communications Officer and Accounting Manager, respectively. Outcome of the electoral exercise for the key positions for Fiscal yeat 2013-2014 revealed ASSAN AKBOTA (Kazhakstan) as Interact Club President; KIMYANG CHENDA (Cambodia) as Vice-President; BENG SOPHEAVONG (Cambodia) as Secretary and HOJEONG LEE (South Korean) as Treasurer. Congratulations and more power to them!
Five days post Interact Club officers election, a meeting was slated by Rotarian Andre with the elected officers and second highest ballot garners. Copies of the standard Rotary International’s Interact Club Constituion and By-Laws were dessiminated and thoroughly explained. The roles and functions of each officer were likewise dissected so that each comprehends what is expected to have an effective team leadership. Plans were initially penciled down with guidance from Rotarian Andre on scheduled regular meetings, compliance for documentary requirements for the chartering of the Interact Club by Rotary International, date for the inaugural-induction ceremony program, membership rules, procedures and dues as well as the creation of different working committees (Club, Finance, Community Service and International Understanding).
The RCPP felicitates the newly elected officers of its sponsored Interact Club of Phnom Penh-Cambodia whose mentoring and nurturing to become a self-governing and sustainable school-based community-led organization are under the RCPP’s New Generations Service Committee, chaipersoned by Rotarain Andre “Eagle” Struve. Indeed, this is another “new height of achievement” for the RCPP.
Written by Rotarian Dr. Fil “Heart” Tabayoyong, Jr.
Limkokwing University, Cambodia
American University Phnom Penh, Cambodia
National Olympic Committee
There are three pillars that support a child’s education and development:
The community supports a child’s education and development by providing health care, stimulating and supporting the child’s interests and education (in areas such as art venues, zoos, sports teams, and botanical gardens), providing opportunities for work experiences and internships, and providing opportunities to students to develop leadership experience and skills.
CIA FIRST seeks to continue developing a deep and broad list of community partners who will offer CIA FIRST students and their families discounts on services and will also share with CIA FIRST students tours of their business to peak student understanding and interest in different vocational areas.
CIA FIRST is proud to have established the first Cambodian Rotary INTERACT Club, sponsored by the Phnom Penh Rotary Club. Through this club and our Student Council we support the following NGO’s and organizations: Save poor Children in Asia Organization, New Hope for Cambodian Children, Friends International, Pour un Sourire d’Enfant, Who Will Village, Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital, Tiny Toones, Operation Smile, Karuna Youth Club, Hagar Cambodia, Missionaries of Charity, and Children Surgery Center.
CIA FIRST also regularly hosts community events such as: the annual Human Rights Soccer Tournament on Human Rights Day, a Road Safety Basketball Tournament, Women Power Volleyball Tournament, Family Day, and International Children’s Day Festival (an event organized by children, for children).