In a concerted effort to combat dropout rates and bridge language barriers among ethnic minority students in Cambodia, the “Digital Educational Resources in Indigenous Languages for Primary School Students” initiative has brought about transformative change.

Spearheaded by the NGO Open Development Cambodia (ODC) in close partnership with the Department of Special Education under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, this project has left an indelible impact on over 10,000 ethnic minority students across six provinces.

This innovative endeavour has resulted in the creation of 90 digital forums and educational videos in five distinct minority languages, namely Bunong, Kavet, Kreung, Tampuan and Kuy.

These resources serve as a lifeline for both students and teachers seeking to navigate the complexities of education in their native tongues.

A recent report from ODC reveals that this one-year project extended its reach to Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom provinces. Since its inception, the project extended a helping hand to 12,500 students and 84 teachers. It also garnered substantial attention, with 45,000 views on digital forums hosted on YouTube and the ODC Facebook page and website.

“This project seeks to address the language obstacles faced by primary education students belonging to Cambodia’s minority ethnic groups,” the ODC stated.

The project focused on distributing and creating digital educational materials for primary schools in several provinces. An essential aspect of this initiative involved enhancing the skills and knowledge of primary school teachers within these regions, enabling them to effectively utilise digital teaching tools and materials.

It is also worth noting that the “Digital Educational Resources in Indigenous Languages for Primary School Students” project was funded through a grant by the Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) and ran from November 2022 until October 2023.