BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
Chheng Sovannka, 20, one of The University of Cambodia’s Samdech Techo Hun Sen Vision-100 Scholarship 2007 students, has described her wishes and life as a student.
Chheng Sovannka was born in 1989 in Phnom Penh and she is the oldest of three sisters. Her father is an officer working with the National Authority for Combating Drugs in the Ministry of Interior and her mother is a house-maker.
Sovannka is now studying English Literature at the University of Cambodia as well as Accounting at the Royal University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. She passed the scholarship exams offered by the University of Cambodia in 2007.
“I passed the scholarship exams with grade B. I now enjoy the benefits of study for free, thanks to the generosity of the University authorities,” she told the Southeast Asia Weekly on April 24.
Sovannka pointed out that she studied at Preah Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh, earning a Baccalaureate in 2007. She applied to study English Literature at UC following the introduction of the scholarships.
“After completion of my studies, I will apply for work with private companies or international organizations and will use my knowledge to work for the interests of people across the world,” she added.
She continued that she decided to study English Literature with UC because she wishes to be an English Lecturer. Alternatively, she sees herself as a future leader in Cambodia.
She told the Southeast Asia Weekly that since she has been studying English with UC, her linguistic abilities have improved dramatically and she is able to read, write and speak well, as she must in her capacity of President of The University of Cambodia student Senate.
She added that when she completes her graduation with UC, she plans to apply for a Master’s degree in English Literature or Accounting in Japan.
Sovannka said that besides her study at UC, she is also studying Accounting. As a second string to her bow, this will open up the possibility of work for foreign companies or NGO’s.
Sovannka said that besides her studies she is the current President of The University of Cambodia Student Senate. She was elected to this position in early 2009.
“I am happy that I am working towards success. Nevertheless, to reach my goal, I have to study harder to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature in the next two years. I will then apply for foreign scholarships to study for a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Japan,” she said.
Sovannka said that since she was elected President in early 2009, she has been working hard organizing UC Student Senate events. These provide opportunities for UC students to build up confidence and individual talent. They create goodwill via promotion of the culture of Cambodia. Active senate members also learn the benefits of collaboration, tolerance and teamwork.
“Although I am now very busy and working hard, I really enjoy with my work. I am learning a lot from them and these lessons will be relevant in future. In addition, I am also able to work for my classmates and UC students in general. Most importantly, this position gives me a chance to help the less well-to-do and promote progress in Cambodia,” she said.
She said that her dream is to be an activist fighting for women’s rights, raising their profile, encouraging self-confidence and self reliance.
Lieutenant Colonel Chin Samon, Chief of the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Containments Control Office is Sovannka’s father and he is very happy with his daughter’s efforts. He also said that Sovannka is the only one of his three daughters studying at the University of Cambodia and that she has been attending schools since the age of five.
He said that when his daughter was at primary and high school, she studied very hard every day and as a result, she was always one of the top ten students in her schools.
He pointed out that in 2007, Sovannka passed three scholarship exams from the University of Cambodia, the Institute of Foreign Language and the Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences.
He continued that he ordered his daughter to cancel her studies at the Institute of Foreign Languages and concentrate on The University of Cambodia.
He added that to do her schoolwork as well as serve as UC Student Senate President Sovannka studies very hard every night. Sometimes, she has to work until 1 or 2 am at the morning.
“I pity my daughter very much because she works very hard everyday and night. However, I am very honored and proud as I have a good daughter. I think that she will eventually reach her goals,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a telephone interview on June 24.
“I will encourage and support her to obtain a higher degree in future and I wish her all the best of luck and success,” he added. ////