The Education and Labour ministries, in cooperation with Unesco, have launched two more Basic Education Equivalency Programme branches to meet rising demand from school dropouts wishing to continue their studies.
Kimlay Leav, a Unesco programme officer, yesterday said both branches were launched in Siem Reap province on July 11 at a ceremony presided over by Pich Sophoan, a Labour Ministry secretary of state.
The two new branches are at the National Polytechnic Institute of Angkor and the Regional Polytechnic Institute Techo Sen Siem Reap in Siem Reap province.
With the latest additions, BEEP now has 10 branches, five each in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Mr Leav said the two are the last BEEP branches to be set up in Siem Reap province and the programme will be extended to other provinces.
“This is the last project in Siem Reap province,” he said. “We plan to start a BEEP branch in northeastern Cambodia sometime next year.”
Mr Leav noted that there is a rising demand from dropouts to continue their education and there are now 149 students studying in the 10 branches, 41 percent of whom are female, and 1,553 students studying online. Twenty-eight percent of them are female.
“BEEP provides an opportunity for those who have dropped out of school and offers them the chance to study from Grade 6 to Grade 9,” he said. “It offers them a chance to complete their Grade 9 education and continue studying at a vocational training institute or technical high school.”
The programme offers 11 subjects, namely Khmer, Math 1, Math 2, English, ICT, Entrepreneurship, Tourism, Chemistry, Physics, Gender and Basic Employability.
BEEP was launched in February to provide an e-learning based alternative education to out-of-school youth at the lower secondary level to help them complete basic education, equivalent to Grade 9, and prepare them with good knowledge and skills for decent employment opportunities.
Peang Hongkri, 17, a Grade 6 dropout, yesterday said that the programme makes it easy for working people like him to study online during a convenient time.
He said that after finishing work, they could learn at home whenever they are free by using a smart phone or tablet.
“We are busy working to earn a livelihood and have no time to study at a regular school,” Mr Hongkri said. “But now I can study online at home and if I do not understand a lesson, I can use the weekend to meet a teacher at the BEEP branch for help.”