The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and UNICEF are working together to ensure the continuation of learning for all children, especially the most disadvantaged and marginalised through multilingual education (MLE) radio-based programme, during when schools are closed amidst the current Covid-19 community outbreak.
While schools were closed during the current Covid-19 community outbreak, all children, especially the most disadvantaged and marginalised should be continue to learn, said the education ministry and UNICEF joint press statement released on April 7.
It said UNICEF will donate 1,640 radios to indigenous ethnic minority students in the North Eastern provinces of Kratie, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri.
“These students are learning through the ministry’s MLE radio-based programme, just one of the distance learning modalities the ministry introduced in the early days of the pandemic,” a press statement said.
Education minister Hang Chuon Naron said that during these challenging times, he was pleased that the ministry was able to work with UNICEF and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to deliver much needed distance learning for children engaged in multilingual education.
“For the multi-lingual radio programme to be truly impactful, it is important that parents support their children to continue to learn using this valuable service,” he said.
The MLE programme provides radio lessons for pre and primary school multilingual students in the Kroeng and Tumpoun languages in Ratanakkiri province and in the Bunong language in Mondulkiri. An estimated 1,527 students from 79 primary schools that do not currently own a radio will receive one, bringing lessons right into their home, according to UNICEF.
UNICEF country director for Cambodia Foroogh Foyouzat said that UNICEF was proud to be working with the education ministry and GPE in delivering this programme, which is reaching some of the most vulnerable children in Cambodia and helping them to continue to learn.
“The provision of radios to children will enable the reach of the programme to be significantly extended, which is very important during this time when schools are closed. This is an important initiative, which is helping to address the issue of learning losses due to the impact of Covid-19,” she said.
According to UNICEF, 34 community preschool MLE teachers and 70 primary school MLE teachers will also receive a radio for teaching purposes in the classroom or during distance teaching and learning. The radios will be delivered in early April.
The MLE programme is being delivered through Cambodia’s Covid-19 response and recovery efforts with funding assistance from GPE. UNICEF is the grant agent for this $7 million programme, which is delivering emergency support to schools and students during the Covid-19 pandemic.