IDP Language School in Cambodia Active Countering Infection and Supporting Student Learning During Covid-19


Established by IDP Education (Cambodia) in 1992, the Australian Centre for Education (ACE) has been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic since it began in 2020. With the safety of staff, teachers, students and the wider community the priority, ACE has received support and guidance from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), the Health Ministry and the WHO, to ensure the strictest health and safety measures are put in place to counter the spread of the virus. On a number of occasions when the infection situation worsened, ACE, along with other schools in the country, suspended physical classes as per the government’s directives. With the government’s encouragement to help students continue learning, ACE deployed a digital driven approach to its teaching delivery allowing classes to be conducted face to face but virtually, leveraging the world’s top digital conference and learning platforms as well as several learning management system (LMS) apps – supporting around 40,000 unique students over the past 12 months in Cambodia.

This week, arranged by the government, more than 400 ACE staff and teachers were vaccinated for COVID-19, reassured that they are protected and therefore minimising the possibility of spread on campuses and in communities. Cambodia is one of only 17 countries in the world so far to prioritise vaccinations for teachers according to UNESCO.

Understanding and trying to alleviate the financial hardship of families affected by COVID-19, ACE, in conjunction with MoEYS, introduced a scholarship program with the support of its staff, teachers and relevant stakeholders, offering full scholarships to 2,000 students from across the country through its digital scholarship program along with 3,000 other partial scholarships over the past year.

“These scholarship initiatives are introduced as part of the ACE Corporate Social Responsibility Program and to complement the Royal Government of Cambodia’s efforts to assist Cambodian students to achieve a higher level of proficiency in the English language during this difficult time of COVID-19,” said IDP Education (Cambodia) and ACE Country Director, Mao Sreng.

“ACE, named one of the best four language educators globally at the PIEoneer Awards Ceremony in London in 2018, runs six English language teaching campuses in Cambodia with a student population of 25,000 – of more than 20 nationalities. ACE continues to provide world class education services to our students and clients,  always ensuring their safety comes first. I commend our teams in Cambodia for their care, professionalism and innovation during this unprecedented time,” said IDP South East Asia Regional Director, Montse Castells.

“The ACE digital scholarship initiative is an example of how innovation can drive our teaching approach, harnessing technology during a global crisis of this scale,” said HE Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport at the MoEYS-ACE MOU signing ceremony for last year’s scholarship initiative.

“Australia has a long history of assisting Cambodian education. This is continuing in this unprecedented and challenging time. I commend Australian institutions such as ACE for doing a fantastic job to adapt and provide quality education to students in Cambodia during COVID-19,” said Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, HE Pablo Kang, who was honouring the MOU signing ceremony with his presence.

With the Khmer New Year holidays coming up, the government encourages everyone to stay home for the celebrations to combat the rising number of COVID-19 cases being found every day. To support this, ACE is introducing a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” program by hosting Facebook Live sessions with cooking classes of popular Cambodian dishes, popular and traditional Cambodian dance lessons, and a session on mental wellness and stress management – in conjunction with chefs from the Academy of Culinary Arts Cambodia, dance instructors from the Royal University of Fine Arts, and widely respected chief monk, Venerable Master San Sochea, who is based at a pagoda in Melbourne.

“It is anticipated there will be around one million participants for this special one-week program through the ACE Facebook page,” according to ACE Principal, Ashley Irving. “I’m very grateful to the Minster of Education, Youth and Sport, Ambassador Pablo Kang and other dignitaries who will be contributing messages of support for this good cause, he added.

In support of the ACE Khmer New Year program, the Education Minister encourages students and their families to participate, and make the best use of their time while staying home during the Khmer New Year break next week, either to keep learning or learn new skills. The Minister also urges everyone to strictly adhere to the government guidance of “3 Dos and Don’ts” on COVID-19 along with conveying his well wishes for the New Year.

Share this article