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Two GGAS Students Bring Home the Gold from World Scholar’s Cup

PHNOM PENH: Two outstanding students from Phnom Penh’s Golden Gate American School have returned home with medals won at the World Scholar’s Cup in South Korea. The competition was held from July 14-19 and saw students from many different countries compete in academic challenges like debate, collaborative writing and knowledge quizzes.

GGAS students Tep Sovannpisey and Sok Ana said the competition motivated them to study harder and made them proud of themselves and their country. Both outstanding students won World Scholar’s Cup trophies and medals while in South Korea. "I got one gold and one silver medal, my gold medal is for debate teamwork and silver medal is for collaborate writing team work,” said Sovannpisey. Sok Ana spoke proudly of her personal improvements since competing regionally. Her hard work payed off with a trophy, two silver and two gold medals. She said, “I can see that I have improved a lot from the regional round in Cambodia. In the regional round I came in 10th place and now I can see that I improved a lot as I received two silver medals and two gold medals.”

Every year thousands of students from six continents compete in the World Scholar’s Cup, which holds regional rounds distributed around the world to make them more accessible to scholars in more places. Teams from each global round are given the chance to be invited to the final Tournament of Champions held at Yale University in the US.

There are a number of fun activities organized for the competition, such as Scholar's Challenge, Collaborative Writing, Team Debate, Scholar's Bowl, and Scholar's Show, which allows students from all over the world to perform on the big stage with thousands of students from different countries watching.

During the show, Tep Sovannpisey chose to wear a traditional Khmer costume and show traditional Khmer dance moves on the big stage, which she just started learning from her teacher. "Of course I would be very excited and proud of myself, my country Cambodia, my family and the school too," she said.

Sovannpisey's mother, Chat Sokrasmey, told EAC News that she is very proud of her daughter for showing off her skills on the international stage. "As a mother, as well as the school is proud of her and especially as she is representing the whole of Cambodia, which has shown [that] Khmer children are really strong and Khmer children are capable enough to show the international community that we are capable enough," she said.

Sok Lina also expressed his happiness and pride for his daughter Sok Ana, saying that this is the first time she has gone abroad and that he is impressed with her good results. "We are very grateful that my daughter went to compete in the World Scholar's Cup in South Korea,” he said. “Yes we are very happy.”

The GGAS parents were brimming with pride at their children and credited the Golden Gate American School with providing a moral education that instils their students with the courage to compete internationally.

Sok Ana shared some tips to be ready to participate in such big competitions through her experience and courage. “Be brave and you have to learn to speak up for yourself. [In] debate you have to speak up for yourself to prove your point and the internet exists for a reason-you should go on there and research about the topic that World Scholar's Cup provided for us,” she said.

Golden Gate American School was established in 1996 and became a general education school in 2009, using an international curriculum to teach Cambodian students. The school has gained a reputation for producing students who travel to international competitions to represent Cambodia. Since 2017, they have sent 231 to compete internationally in programs like the Pangea Math Olympiad, TeenEagle, the Copernicus Olympiad and the World Scholar’s Cup.

World Scholar Tep Sovannpisey also won a gold medal from the Pangea Math World Olympiad in Germany in May of this year, encouraging her peers to challenge themselves and participate competitions with bravery and confidence. “It’s alright to try new things. It would be a great experience and if you don’t do great it’s okay!” she said. “Everyone makes mistakes. No one is prefect.”

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