The Ministry of Education is to expand literacy classes for garment workers to more than 12 provinces where factories are located this year, with more classes planed for the whole nation by 2020.
Kouch Kou Lumor, head of the ministry’s non-formal education department, said last week that literacy programmes for garment workers were only available in Phnom Penh in 2016.
In 2017, classes were spread to Kampong Speu and Svay Rieng provinces.
“In 2018, we plan to expand to another 12 provinces where there are factories,” he said. “We estimate that there will be about 600 more students. So far, there are about 40 factories that have literacy programmes with about 400 students.”
Mr Lumor noted that factory owners must first agree to allow the programmes into their workplace before they are set up.
“When the factories agree and allow the literacy classes in, the workers who want to learn with teachers sponsored by the Education Ministry can do so within rooms set up for them at the factory,” he said.
Mr Lumor added that each class lasts about 45 minutes to one hour and each course runs for four months.
“Most factory owners are happy to have literacy programmes for their workers,” Mr Lumor said. “We will ask the government to expand this programme all over the country during 2019 and 2020.”
Kaing Monika, deputy secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, said he welcomed the literacy programmes for garment workers and that the association encouraged its members to set up classrooms in their factories.