IDP Education and its language school, ACE, support frontline efforts against COVID-19

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic over a year ago, IDP Education (Cambodia) and its English language school, the Australian Center for Education (ACE), have been at the forefront of efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of all staff, teachers, students, their families and the wider community throughout Cambodia.

All six ACE campuses have since the beginning strictly applied government and WHO standard operating procedures (SOPs), on social distancing and hygiene, temperature checks, distribution of hand sanitizers and face masks, deep cleansing regimens, contact tracing and working from home. This process was supported and guided directly by visits and inspections by the Minister of Education himself, HE Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, health experts from the Ministry of Health and representatives of WHO and the Australian Embassy last year.

As the recent community outbreak continues to see a high number of daily COVID-19 cases, and despite the city’s current lockdown this week, over 90% of ACE staff and teachers have received their second shot COVID, rapidly organized by the Royal Government and the Ministries of Health and Education, and provided free of charge to local and expatriate employees. According to the United Nations, Cambodia is one of the few countries to prioritize the vaccination of teachers.

Many teachers shared their positive vaccination experiences on social media (“It didn’t hurt!”), to motivate followers to get vaccinated, minimize the spread of infection and protect their families and friends . At the request of government vaccination teams, ACE has made available a large outdoor shaded car park on the ground floor of one of its campuses in Phnom Penh (Chak Angre campus) which will serve as an additional vaccination center for expedite the distribution of vaccines and boosters in the local community during the current period of city lockdown. ACE also provided drinking water, packed lunches and drinks to vaccination teams at three other centers run by the Ministry of Education.

Brig. General Yung Khemera, the vaccination center manager, expressed his gratitude to ACE for the vaccination space and support provided, citing that the location, the large outdoor shaded area, was just perfect for this goal.

Last week, the Facebook initiative ‘ACE Khmer New Year: Stay Home, Stay Safe’ organized to encourage social distancing and for people to stay at home during the New Year holidays, attracted more than 500,000 viewers during the holiday season, with cooking lessons, dance coaching, English lessons, taekwondo coaching and meditation sessions by international experts and some of Cambodia’s leading experts.

Australia’s Ambassador to Cambodia, HE Pablo Kang, expressed his support for the initiative in a pre-recorded video saying, “I would like to thank ACE for organizing the Khmer New Year: Stay Home, Stay Safe , skills and entertainment initiative to bring health and cultural awareness to the public during this unprecedented time. In his New Year’s speech, he then acknowledged the work of the authorities in the fight against the pandemic. “I wish to recognize the efforts of Cambodia’s frontline health workers, hospitals, government, business and civil society representatives to fight the virus, and all Cambodian citizens who are making sacrifices, in accordance with the government guidelines, to help control the spread of COVID. ”

HE Dr Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, HE Dr Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, and HE Chea Serey, Managing Director of the National Bank of Cambodia, all hailed the “Khmer New Year: Stay home, stay safe.” ‘ and sent video messages to initiate and encourage participation in the program. “I would like to commend and support ACE for hosting the Skills & Entertainment program which demonstrates that learning can still take place despite the current difficult situation,” commented Dr Phoeurng Sackona. Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi was keen to emphasize the public’s strict adherence to the government’s 3 do’s and don’ts while staying at home, and seize the opportunity to participate in the virtual Khmer New Year d ‘ACE.

Like all organizations around the world, ACE has been extremely affected by the pandemic. However, all classes, student placement services, enrollment, registration and payment facilities have been seamlessly brought online, mitigating the impact of the infection and the latest challenges of lockdowns and zones. red. Dedicated helpline teams are in place to provide advice and technical assistance to online students.

Staff have become experts in shifting to digital delivery in the short term, leveraging the world’s leading education platforms and learning management systems (LMS) to make student learning better than ever. 300 ACE teachers now deliver solid, quality English lessons from the safety of their own homes, supported around the clock by a team of IT specialists and online customer service agents, to make the journey of learning as easy and efficient as possible and ensure no ACE student is left behind with their studies.

ACE and IDP Cambodia Country Director Mao Sreng praised the teamwork and shared commitment of staff and stakeholders in maintaining uninterrupted services with over 50,000 students over the past 12 months and with health and safety always the number one consideration.

“I am proud of how our teams in Cambodia have worked tirelessly to make online virtual learning work on such a large scale. By instantly and confidently moving from F2F to blended to online courses, the team has created lasting cross-departmental cooperation networks within our organization. The work and agility demonstrated is phenomenal, in achieving the highest standards of education and safety for our students, teachers and employees,” said Andrew Barkla, CEO of IDP Education, a global leader in education services. international education and student placement.

According to ACE Director Ashley Irving, ACE continues to regularly offer scholarship opportunities to support families currently experiencing financial hardship. Since March 2020, ACE (in conjunction with the Department of Education) has awarded 2,000 full scholarships to learners across the country through its Digital Scholarship Program, along with another 3,000 partial scholarships through its CSR programs.

During the current closures, ACE continues to offer a wide range of market-leading English language products and programs, including General English, IELTS preparation, academic and vocational courses leading to the ACE Diploma and customized training for organizations including governments, embassies and NGOs. Over three decades since its establishment by IDP in 1992, ACE has always maintained its international standards (named among the best language teachers in the world at the London PIEoneer Awards in 2018; HR Asia Best Companies to Work for 2020) and continues to ensure highly qualified teachers provide world-class services.

For more information on ACE’s online courses: acecambodia.org