The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and Smart Axiata on Monday announced the launch of its “Smart 1,000 Grade 12 Video Collection” with support from the Smart Axiata $1 million Covid-19 relief fund.

A joint press release said the programme will be a great resource for this year’s 12th graders as well as future high school seniors. It said the relief fund has added great value to the long-standing collaboration and partnership between Smart Axiata, the ministry and the Open Institute.

“So far, more than 400 videos have been produced. While more videos are being created for the collection, the ministry will begin launching the videos simultaneously in a more structured manner.

“The materials will be presented on the ministry’s social media channels, including Facebook and YouTube. They will also be broadcast on Educational Television Khmer (TVK 2),” the press release said.

Minister Hang Choun Naron said Smart Axiata’s relief fund is a great assistance to the ministry’s efforts in supporting Cambodia’s educational system through digital technology.

“The new initiative focuses on Grade 12 since students attending the last year of high school need to prepare for their final examinations and later proceed with their university applications,” he said.

Through this fund, he said the ministry and the Open Institute have set up two fully-equipped studios for online video production for Grade 12 students. The aim is to enable them to pursue distance learning to prepare for their graduation examinations.

Smart Axiata’s CEO Thomas Hundt said the company wanted to ensure that school closures wouldn’t get in the way of Cambodian students’ education.

Smart Axiata, he said, had always been committed to supporting the education sector in Cambodia.

“We believe in the power of partnerships and collaborations. Thus, Smart Axiata’s $1 million Covid-19 relief fund has been launched to support the government’s efforts and help communities impacted by the global public health crisis,” Hundt said.

The Open Institute’s executive director Javier Sola said the financial support received from the fund enabled them to quickly put together two modern recording studios that are soundproofed and equipped with smartboards, audio equipment and high-definition cameras.

“With the two studios now operating at maximum efficiency, we are able to produce 80 videos per week. A dedicated quality assurance team works closely to guarantee all recorded videos are up to the ministry’s standards and acceptable for broadcast,” Sola said.

The press release said the relief fund targets initiatives based on four focus areas – ICT for education, crisis management, social distancing and personal hygiene.

Partnerships between private and public entities are encouraged to submit proposals to the relief fund for up to $200,000 each.