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KOICA $7m grant plans to boost ICT knowledge

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Teachers in Tekeo province received ICT training last year. Education Ministry

KOICA $7m grant plans to boost ICT knowledge

A grant of $7 million has been provided by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport for promoting Information and Communications Technology (ICT) use in lower secondary education and enhancing the skills of teachers.

The commitment was made through a virtual signing ceremony between KOICA country director Rho Hyunjun and education minister Hang Chuon Naron on March 24.

The project will be implemented from 2021 to 2026 focusing on improving the ICT study programme and textbooks, developing ICT teaching and learning and strengthening ICT physical infrastructure in regional teacher training centres and target schools.

The work will also focus on strengthening and encouraging leadership, management and implementation of the ICT programme at school level.

Chuon Naron thanked the South Korean government for providing financial and technical support for this project.

“This project will be another new opportunity to improve the quality of the primary education level in line with the context of digital education in Cambodia,” he said.

Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said the $7 million grant is aimed at promoting ICT in four provinces.

“In cooperation with KOICA, the education ministry will promote the qualification of trainers and teachers in ICT at provincial regional teacher training centres and lower secondary schools in the provinces of Kampong Cham, Prey Veng, Takeo and Kandal.”

He said through this project, KOICA would provide a master’s degree scholarship for teacher educators, improving current ICT curriculum and textbook development, and enhancing the ICT education environment as well as support the ICT leading schools in the four provinces.

“This cooperation with KOICA is a response to strengthening digital education of the education ministry in the Education Strategic Plan 2019-2023,” he added.

The Asia Development Bank (ADB) on March 19 released a research report showing that to make the transition to digital learning, it starts with teachers who need to be provided with the tools and training to successfully lead students into making the jump to effective digital learning.

ADB had conducted a study in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Bangladesh and Cambodia about digital readiness of teachers in three main categories – digital access, basic digital skills and advanced digital skills.

They asked 23,658 teachers predominantly from primary and secondary schools, both public and private, in mostly rural areas. They found that 60 to 80 per cent of them accessed the internet through their own mobile devices, both at home and at school.

Up to 60 per cent of them rarely used email to communicate with others, nor did they use any of the popular file sharing tools to create and share information in a structured way. But they are quite proficient in using social media such as Facebook. Over 80 per cent of teachers regularly use social media to communicate with others.

“The key to successfully making the digital transformation in education is to enhance the digital skills of teachers,” the report said.

Soveacha said that before and in the context of Covid-19, the ministry had continued to promote the training of teachers by carrying out reforms to teacher training institutions. The ministry continues to provide training to them by using new teaching methods and IT in the processes of teaching and learning.

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