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Drive for Khmer study resources picks up steam

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Students are reading books at the national library in Phnom Penh's Daun Penh district. Hong Menea

Drive for Khmer study resources picks up steam

The Research Creativity and Innovation Fund (RCI Fund) of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is preparing an agreement to provide financial assistance to an initial group of 13 state and private higher education institutions which have requested the ministry to prepare, write and improve Khmer-language textbooks.

The institutions have submitted 576 titles.

Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on March 8 that from October 19, 2020, to March 2, 2021, 17 institutions applied for budgeting from the RCI Fund to support preparation, writing and improvement of textbooks. This group represented 856 titles.

“The Ministry of Education would like to encourage state and private higher education institutions to apply for the RCI Fund for textbooks that are beneficial for Cambodian students who study and research,” he said.

In a press release, the ministry said on March 5 that the 13 institutions have submitted documents to the fund, including draft content with titles and subtitles, course descriptions, and a synopsis or abstract.

Soveacha added that the RCI Fund aimed to increase quantity, enhance quality and expand equality of Khmer study resources for students. The ministry has also prioritised the fund, which has also been supported by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

He continued that the institutions have taken part in the project to promote a culture of research, encourage creativity and innovation in response to the labour market and globalisation and especially support enhancement of learning, teaching and research or “one subject, one textbook”.

The education ministry said that in principle, institutions must have enough textbooks for students to study and research and at least one title per subject. There must also be at least two copies in libraries or textbooks are available online.

On October 19, last year, the ministries established the RCI Fund to provide financial assistance to authors and researchers who prepare, write and improve textbooks to be used in higher education.

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