The Busan Department of Education in South Korea donated 250 tablets to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia to support digital education and the teaching and learning of all subjects.

“The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport received 250 tablets from the Office of Education in Busan city in the Republic of Korea and gave them to the department of technology and public institutions to encourage digital education and learning through electronic devices,” Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said.

He said the ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Education in Busan in 2005 and another in 2017 to continue cooperation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The hand-over ceremony was done between Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron and Busan Metropolitan City Office of Education superintendent Kim Seok-joon via Video conference, according to the ministry’s Facebook page.

Chuon Naron said: “The minister said that Korea has helped to provide information technology training and donate technological tools to Cambodian teachers for 15 years already. Technological tools are very important for Cambodian.

“Teachers and officers play an important role in encouraging learning through electronic devices to enable Cambodian students to pursue their education even while schools are closed.”

The minister said both sides can continue the good cooperation to enhance the education sectors.

The ministry said the tablets would be given to the specialised departments of the ministry, teacher education colleges, high schools, secondary schools, pre-school teacher training centres and eight primary schools. Each school will receive 30 tablets and one tablet charger.

All schools in Cambodia have been closed temporarily because of Covid-19. Students are studying at home with distance learning programmes.

The ministry has recently created learning programmes on TV claiming that it gives students from rural areas a chance to keep up, even though some two million of them are unable to take part in the programmes for lack of televisions or smartphones.

The president of the Independent Teacher’s Association Ouk Chhayavy told The Post on Wednesday that all actions taken by the ministry recently are not able to provide distance learning to all students.

“When families are poor how can they afford to allow kids to have distance learning?

“As for using modern tools like phones, computers and tablets, they cannot afford to buy those for distance learning. They do not even have rice to eat sometimes.

“They need to spend money to pay for connectivity to study by phones. They do not have money and the phone networks are not accessible widely. They are accessible in cities but not for rural areas. Just as I live far from the city, the internet is very slow,” she said.