Two staff members and 49 students from Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Informatics & IT participated in an Overseas Community Project (OCP) to Cambodia for 5 days to interact with the Samrong High School community.
Mr Shaun Tan, Section Head/Diploma in Cyber & Digital Security and the Diploma in Digital Forensics, as well as Mr Ryan Lim, Manager Entrepreneurship & Industry Relations and Course Manager/Diploma in Financial Business Informatics, accompanied the students for the trip from 25 to 30 September 2016. The community project saw students from the Diploma in Cyber and Digital Security, Diploma in Digital Forensics, Diploma in Financial Business Informatics, Diploma in Information Technology, Diploma in Game Design and Development and Diploma in Mobile & Network Services.
The IIT students who went to Samrong High School enjoyed teaching and interacting with the local community. It was an enriching and eye-opening experience for majority of them as this was their first trip to Cambodia. They were heartened by how enthusiastic the Cambodian students were in their learning. After getting past the initial shyness and communication barriers, both sides warmed up to each other and at times even began singing and dancing during the scheduled activities. In addition, the participants also learnt about the culture and history of Cambodia with visits to Angkor Wat, the Royal Palace and the genocide museum.
Shaun explained that all in all, the participants felt very fortunate and humbled by the local Cambodian students. “We learnt so much from the local Cambodian students. They had very little but were appreciative of what they have and their thirst for knowledge was admirable. Some students had to walk a few kilometres just to get to the school. Their level of motivation was so high.”
He added, “We were so surprised that their level of understanding in English and Maths was beyond basic. This trip has reminded us to be more appreciative of what we have, as students and teachers, and to look at our lives in Singapore from a different perspective.”
By the end of the visit, the IIT and the local Cambodian students had forged strong bonds of friendships but what really made an impression on the IIT lecturers and students were the Cambodian students’ palpable sense of appreciation of what they have.