In light of the nationwide school closure in Cambodia from 16 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme is working closely with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and relevant partners to ensure the continuity of education for learners in Cambodia.
The Organization is strengthening digital and distance learning for over 323,000 early grade students, lower secondary students, out-of-school youth and factory workers in Cambodia. This series of intervention includes the development and production of 200 video lessons, which are available on MoEYS’s official online and digital learning platforms, and the Techo TV channel.
For children enrolled in Grades 1 to 3, UNESCO is supporting the development of content and the production of 60 video lessons on Mathematics and Khmer Literacy. To facilitate this, the Programme purchased and provided equipment for the production of learning materials. To raise students’ awareness, all video lessons have an introduction on COVID-19 prevention practices. The lessons include sign language for children who have hearing impairment or auditory challenges. The Programme also produced and broadcasted a TV spot on national channels to inform communities about the availability of online learning resources, and the key role parents play to support the learning of their children during school closures.
“Distance learning has become so much easier with the video lessons, as children can learn and access the materials anytime through MoEYS’s Facebook page and Techo TV,” said the mother of Sao Sovanna, a Grade 2 student in Siem Reap province.
A teacher delivering video lessons noted that she received high-quality support, including new teaching approaches, learning activities and hygienic supplies, to ensure continuous education for learners. “Through these video lessons, parents and caregivers can actively support their children’s education at home and strengthen students’ capacity in using technology to access educational materials in this digital age,” she added.
The video lessons will be initially broadcasted live on Krou Cambodia and Komar Rien Koma Cheh, the MoEYS’s official Facebook page for Early Grade Learning, and will be available for download at MoEYS E-learning platform, MoEYS Facebook page, MoEYS Youtube Channel, phone application of E-School Cambodia: EG1, EG2, and EG3, and the educational channel, TV Techo.
To further increase access to digital learning opportunities for all, UNESCO, in collaboration with the MoEYS, has made the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP) platform available to the public as a supplementary digital learning resource during the school closure period. UNESCO will also open BEEP Learning Centers in remote areas to facilitate flexible learning for learners, especially the most marginalized communities.
In partnership with the MoEYS’ Departments of Information Technology, General Secondary Education and Non-Formal Education, UNESCO is upgrading the capacity of the BEEP platform to ensure that at least 300,000 lower secondary school students and out-of-school youth, of which half are female, can continue to access the most up-to-date learning materials.
During the official launch of distance learning of Literacy and BEEP teaching videos, on 21 May 2020, H.E Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of EYS said, “Since the first BEEP Learning Centre was launched two years ago, it has successfully provided an alternative learning platform for lower secondary school students and drop-out youth and prepared them for further skills development. Given the COVID-19 situation, the BEEP platform, offering a wide range of subjects, including Khmer Language, Mathematics and English, was made public to strengthen distance learning for all Cambodian learners.”
An additional 60 video lessons for 6 BEEP subjects, including Khmer, English, Math level I, Math level II, Physics and Chemistry will be also produced and broadcasted live.
Mr. SEANG Tit Rithy, BEEP facilitator at the National Polytechnic Institute of Angkor, Siem Reap Province said, “The development of additional video exercises for each subject offered by BEEP is very helpful. The questions and answers designed, especially for Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry really address the needs of our learners, who do not have direct access to facilitators, due to the COVID-19 situation.”
In addition, UNESCO is providing continuous education to equip at least 23,000 adults, which include 70% female learners, with basic literacy skills, and expanding the access to Non-Formal Education (NFE) for the most vulnerable communities in Cambodia through online learning resources.
UNESCO will support the development of an interactive mobile application and a digital learning platform for the digitalized National Literacy Programme (NLP) that will facilitate self-learning for the most vulnerable communities. In parallel, 80 video lessons of the NFE Programme will be digitalized and broadcasted live.
H. E. Pit Chamnan, Secretary of State of the MoEYS, highlighted a statement by Prime Minister Hun Sen,
Through the NFE platform, UNESCO is providing support to the Department of Non-Formal Education of MoEYS to expand its network to communities across Cambodia, to identify multiple spaces, including factories, community learning centers and pagodas, where learners can have access to the platform and receive support from nationally trained facilitators.
The CapED Programme aims to translate dialogue and advocacy for the global education agenda into concrete action at country level to offer quality education opportunities for all, in line with SDG4. Through CapED, UNESCO has been providing targeted assistance to reinforce national capacities and offering quality education opportunities for all in Least Developed Countries, with a particular focus on gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women across all areas of intervention. CapED is supported by Dubai Cares, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Maryam Jillani, Education Specialist. Tel: +855 78 423 882, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Ilaria Vanzin, Programme Manager, Strengthening Teacher Education Programmes in Cambodia (STEPCam). Tel: +855 92 666 100, Email: email@example.com
Mr. Kimlay Leav, Education Programme Officer, Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP). Tel: +855 69 891 234, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Lay Vutha, National Program Officer, National Literacy Programme (NLP). Tel: +855 17 453 921, Email: email@example.com