The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of California, Berkeley – in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports – launched a five-year digital skill development project with $15 million in USAID funding.
The project is aimed at helping young Cambodians gain the skills to compete in the digital economy.
The launch was presided over by education minister Hang Chuon Naron and US ambassador Patrick Murphy on February 23 at the National University of Management in Phnom Penh.
“This project will strengthen the digital skills of Cambodian youth and specialists so that it can strengthen its competitiveness in a world that is technologically dependent and requires digital skills,” said a press release.
The new project will work with higher education institutions (HEIs) in Cambodia to strengthen courses and programmes for students in the field of information and communication technology (ICT).
The project will also help those institutions meet accredited educational standards so employers can recruit Cambodian graduates with confidence.
Scholarships and networking opportunities will also be priorities for this new project so that young Cambodian students can build skills and find job opportunities that match their education, said the press release.
The project will connect the Cambodian private sector and many local universities by creating employment opportunities through internships.
The project will give a high priority to inclusiveness to ensure that young people from all walks of life have access to the opportunities that this project will provide.
Chuon Naron said at the launch event that the purpose of this project is to improve the educational outcomes of Cambodian youth.
“In recent years there has been an increase in knowledge-based employment, both here and around the world. It is very important to better prepare young people for the realities of the current economy.
“We welcome the USAID digital skills development project as it will work directly with universities and HEIs in Cambodia to improve and enhance the quality of curricula and the provision of ICT skill-related courses as well as promoting the improvement of soft skills that are important in the job market,” Chuon Naron said.
He said the ministry will assist the University of California, Berkeley, and the Asia Foundation in prioritising majors and relevant HEIs for evaluation. The ministry will also be key to quality assurance in curriculum development, he added.
“I would like to thank USAID and the University of California, Berkeley, for funding and implementing this important five-year project. We look forward to working with all key partners of this project.”