In 2018-19, for the first time, we welcomed six new students to our Secondary school whose backgrounds are vastly different to any of our other students. Their families are amongst the poorest in Cambodia and, until joining us, they attended public school in Phnom Penh’s Steung Meanchey district. Since then, we have welcomed a new cohort of students into Grade 6 each year, and we now have 19 students who are part of our host country scholarship programme. Extra support for these children and their families is provided within their community by our partner organisations, the Cambodian Children’s Fund and Indochina Starfish Foundation.
Now in its fifth year of an ongoing programme, the ISPP Board of Trustees has committed to providing full scholarship support to these young scholars each year, from Grade 6 through to their graduation. We expect them to achieve great things in the future and, with an ISPP education under their belt, they are sure to lift their entire families from poverty.
Apart from transforming the lives of these students and their families, sharing our school with children from all walks of life ensures that all of our students appreciate and value diversity at every level. When many schools talk about diversity, they are referring to nationalities. At ISPP, we extend the concept of diversity to include socio-economic diversity, which requires a much bigger effort from the school, but one well worth making.
Every one-time application and entrance fee paid for new students at ISPP is allocated to the sustainable continuation of our scholarship programme and other important community projects. The families of all our new students are contributing generously and positively to the lives of less advantaged Cambodians when they enrol their children at ISPP.