The Education Ministry yesterday launched the first of ten online learning centres, in a bid to encourage out-of-school youths to finish their secondary school studies and obtain certification.
Dubbed the Basic Education Equivalency Programme, the initiative is currently in its pilot stage and is supported by the Institute of Technology of Cambodia. The Education Ministry is planning to establish nine more online learning centres across Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province.
The learning centres will accommodate students who do not have their own access to the internet.
“BEEP gives a chance to people who dropped out of secondary school so that they can continue learning,” Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said. “Passing the exam will get them a certificate equivalent to completing grade 9.”
He noted that a secondary school graduate should have at least one skill in order to secure a job.
“Youths these days like to be online, so you can attend this programme and learn online,” Mr Chuon Naron said.
In a press release, the ministry said it has been working with Unesco since the programme was announced last year.
“To tackle the challenges posed by high dropout rates in secondary education, Cambodia and Unesco has closely worked with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour to design [BEEP],” it said, noting that a monitoring committee had been created in June last year.
The Education Ministry said the subject of Khmer, mathematics, English, Information Technology, entrepreneurship, tourism, chemistry, physics, gender studies and basic employability are taught in the programme.
Registered students are given free access to e-learning courses and can take courses of their interest and need at their own pace, it said.
Tong Sopheap, deputy director of the Education Ministry’s education and technical training department, said people who are looking to get a job should look into the programme.
“Some people have no time to study so this programme will allow them to work and study, so skills can be promoted in order to find a better job,” Ms Sopheap said. “We hope that this programme will be successful and that more centres can be built throughout the country.”