The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has sponsored close to 900 literacy classes this year, implemented by the provincial education departments across the country at factories, enterprises, prisons and through development partners such as NGOs.

The 21st National Literacy Day was held on September 8 with the theme of “Literacy is the Foundation for Lifelong Learning.”

Education minister Hang Chuon Naron said his ministry has organised 872 literacy classes, including seven in factories, 45 in prisons and 39 classes implemented by development partners.

These literacy classes have served a total of 26,920 learners nationwide, including over 10,000 women.

“The achievement of implementing the professional literacy programme demonstrates the government’s commitment to this issue and the progress it has made in the joint implementation of the global campaign between the education ministry, UNESCO and our development partners.

“I commend the hard work of the literacy instructors at all levels – including monks, students, intellectuals and youth volunteers across the country,” he said.

The minister said Cambodia is in a precarious situation due to Covid-19 and the implementation of the literacy classes as well as other opportunities for young people to pursue lifelong learning must be balanced with the protection of the lives of both the teachers and students.

This work therefore requires innovation, compliance with the government to promote Covid-19 prevention measures and providing opportunities for young people to continue their education, he said.

Naron said traditional literacy instruction has now been integrated with literacy in technology, or “digital literacy”, to enable young people to take advantage of the conveniences it brings and boost their skills in order to strengthen their employment opportunities.

The ministry said that in 2020, the vocational literacy programme had 894 literacy classes implemented by the education departments and relevant partner organisations with 17,694 students total and 14,210 who passed the final exam and received a literacy certificate.

In a message celebrating National Literacy Day on September 8, Prime Minister Hun Sen called on all ministries, institutions, educational institutions, study centres, pagodas and other stakeholders to continue developing lifelong educational programmes, both professional and technological in nature, to meet Cambodian students’ needs.