The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Tuesday formally inaugurated Preah Yukunthor High School in Phnom Penh as a New Generation School (NGS).
This allows students to enrol there in the all-important science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) classes in a bid to tackle the Kingdom’s digital and technical skills shortage.
The classes will be available through the national E2Stem Cambodia programme, which allows proficient Grade 9 students to enrol in the academic curriculum.
Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said his office had signed a memorandum of understanding with the E2Stem Cambodia programme to allow for the broadening of access to Stem education for young students during their final three years of high school education.
“The students enrolled in the education programme take a test and are enrolled based on their results. They would have joined a Stem club established by Stem Sisters Cambodia or Technovation Cambodia.
“They may also be the first runners-up or second runners-up for the World Robot Olympiad Cambodia Round 2019. Some students were also Coding Cats members and built an app of their own,” Chuon Naron said.
Chuon Naron said that of the 75 students enrolled in Preah Yukunthor High School’s NGS programme, 41 were girls who hailed from the capital and 13 provinces.
He said that students would undergo 1,500 hours of in-class learning over 185 days – nearly double the 800 hours other students spend in class.
Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth told the audience assembled for the inauguration of the NGS that the government was committed to further improving education standards for Cambodian students, noting that it had increased its budget threefold since 2013.
“The E2Stem study programme will contribute to the training of [Cambodians] . . . so that the human resource sector will have the skills needed to meet the demands of the domestic market and increase Cambodia’s competitiveness in the international arena moving forward.
“Next year, the education ministry plans to spend 3.7 trillion riel or the equivalent of $922 million,” he stressed.
Pornmoniroth said his office was a staunch advocate of NGS expansion, noting that there are 12 such schools across the Kingdom to benefit students.
E2Stem Cambodia chairman Seet Ai Mee thanked the education ministry at the inauguration of the NGS Stem programme, saying it had helped his organisation overcome significant hurdles when putting the curriculum into operation.