Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry plans to drag schools into digital era



Ministry plans to drag schools into digital era

Ministry plans to drag schools into digital era

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is plunging public schools into the digital age with a new interactive technology plan fit with bells, whistles and 3G applications, light-years ahead of its mostly dirt-floor school houses.

The five-year, $1.3 million project, developed and funded by Cellcard, will see Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Resource Centres installed in 334 secondary schools.

The centres will each have broadband internet access and three computers equipped with mobile-phone-compatible digital portals that include digitised and searchable copies of the curriculum, hundreds of tutoring videos, an interactive student forum, weekly updated entertainment and Candy Crush-style educational games.

“It’s absolutely massive; nobody’s ever done anything like this in Cambodia before, and I’ve travelled around the world, but never seen any educational software or content at this level,” Cellcard CEO Ian Watson said.

Although Cambodia has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world, 3G and internet subscriptions are booming, and both the ministry and Cellcard say they want to seek out those comprising the fastest-growing market: teenagers.

There were 3.8 million Cambodian web users in March, up from just 178,142 in 2010, according to the government, and 3.5 million people had 3G access last year.

“Most of these kids are constantly on their phones playing games and watching YouTube videos, so we thought: why not leverage their behaviour and use it as an educational opportunity to teach them through games,” Palani Periakaruppan, Cellcard’s director of marketing, said.

But so far, the ICT centres are planned for just 3 per cent of schools, and though the interactive digital portal will be accessible through a free app, it will require a Cellcard subscription.

“Even without considering technology, there are many discrepancies in quality between the urban and remote schools,” Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said. “But we still need to provide all the means we can for our students to succeed, including, wherever possible, growing our IT capabilities and crossing the digital divide.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese