The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has announced plans to provide accommodations based on financial need to 80 female students who are studying on scholarships or paying tuition fees at public higher education institutions in Phnom Penh at the female student dormitory at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia.

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said in a November 15 notice that the ministry would be taking applications from first-year female students to stay in the dormitory from the date of the announcement until January 20, 2023.

He said that the conditions required for applicants are that they must be female students with a need for financial assistance or a disability who are studying at any public higher education institution in Phnom Penh.

“Poor and disabled students from the provinces must have a certificate from a village chief and commune chief. They must be unmarried, with good discipline and morals,” he added.

The notice reads that candidates may apply from the date of the announcement until January 20, 2023. The announcement of the selected applicants will be posted at the female student dormitory and the official website of the ministry after the decision of the ministry’s selection committee on February 5, 2023.

Chan Ramy, director of the Youth Resource Development Programme (YRDP), said on November 17 that it was good that the ministry was doing more to provide accommodations for female students, especially those who are poor and can’t afford to pay tuition fees on their own.

“They should increase these provisions and should not only focus on female students, but also provide opportunities for indigenous students. I do not know how they will determine suitability or whether it is based on any standard or principle. But as a government institution working on education, the ministry must ensure that students who cannot afford to pay for education receive scholarships, free accommodations, free health care and other benefits,” she said.

She continued that the provision of accommodations is an important part of helping students who cannot afford to pay for their education, but she said that to improve the education sector, the ministry needs qualified, professional teachers to strengthen student skills to match the job market and a curriculum that strengthens students' critical thinking, instils students a national conscience and enhances their knowledge of civil and political rights.