COVID19 has impacted the education industry severely and 825 million learners are currently affected due to school closures. Schools in Cambodia went into another closure in mid-March 2021 due to its 2nd wave of the pandemic that is hitting the country which has significant social and economic impact.
Looking at the positive side, school closures also bring a sense of urgency to change and to focus on quick adaption of other ways of accessing education – digital learning.
I am incredibly proud and thankful that Oliver Wyman (OW) and the amazing digital strategy team who have agreed to support PeopleStories on a pro bono basis to develop a strategic roadmap to create Digital Education for rural Cambodia! Big shout out to Mike, Kevin and Rui from the OW team. At our project kick off discussion, Kevin Emeraldi - Associate at OW shared, “Given today’s pain points of limited physical interaction, educational stakeholders should consider the possibility of disrupting the ‘conventional way’ and immediately offer a means to ensure students can still consistently be engaged to offer some level of continuity and ultimately de-risk their chance of dropping out of the formal education system.”
On the other hand, the voice of our students was heard loud and clear. Kevin shared, “If I have to choose one big thing that I have learned from listening to students in the rural community of Cambodia is the fact that they already have the ambition to succeed despite of the numerous adversities.”
Our mission is to help children complete school, to improve the quality of education and to shift mindsets that school becomes a place where dreams are nurtured and more importantly to lay a strong and happy foundation for the brighter future. A few ideation workshops were held between our core team at PeopleStories and the OW digital experts, and subsequently two broad incredible and important elements have been put forwarded as the core of our digital education strategy including “Community Based” and “Technology Based” solutions.
I am pleased to see the team has applied a good system view on the matter in order to build a sustainable solution to compliment the eco-system of rural education in Cambodia. These include a variety of traditional academic knowledge transfer via digital platform (online and offline) as well as influencing the local communities to trust, support, adopt and commit to this transformational change.
I hope you get a sense of my excitement and how big this change is going to be for PeopleStories and the children we serve. In working with our team for a few weeks, Kevin has confirmed his passion to serve the purpose of PeopleStories,” One thing we should be mindful about is that some sectors are less disrupted with education being one of them. Acknowledging this status quo, me and the rest of Oliver Wyman team are committed to be a catalyst of change and bring our industry learnings in crafting a fit-for-purpose strategy to introduce digital learnings into some of the most underserved community in South-East Asia. I have always been a true believer that education is ultimately an investment that will always pay the biggest dividend – it is more than just a means to an end – as it will be one of the key enabler for so many talented students out there to reach a better quality of life that they aspire.”
Creating something new has never been more fun, exciting and needed! PeopleStories won’t be successful on this important journey of transforming rural education from “Chalk & Talk” to Digital without the collaboration from good partners.
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested to collaborate to make a difference to many lives of the children of Cambodia.
To break the cycle of poverty by advancing education for underprivileged students, families and communities in need.