The Basic Education Equivalency Programme has plans to expand centres to 15 provinces so online education can be provided to drop out students who want to finish Grade 9.
According to a Unesco report, BEEP was initially launched in Phnom Penh in February last year. Currently, there are 13 centres in the capital and Siem Reap and Battambang provinces with about 337 students. It said a total of 2,064 people have registered.
Kimlay Leav, a programme officer with Unesco, yesterday said the UN body is working with the Education and Labour Ministries to expand BEEP to 15 provinces, including Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Preah Vihea Takeo, Takeo, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Koh Kong.
“Moving forward, after the initial centres created in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang, their plan to expand in 15 provinces from 2020 to 2023 gives a chance to more students who have dropped out to get an education online,” Mr Kimlay Leav said.
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron last year said students passing the Beep exam will be given a certificate equivalent to completing Grade 9.
Mr Naron said a secondary school graduate should have at least one skill to secure a job.
“Youth these days like to surf the internet,” he said. “So providing an opportunity to get an online education would appeal to them.”
The programme is a joint initiative between Unesco, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour, with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, according to a statement by Beep.
It said the programme provides flexible, alternative education to Cambodian youth who have dropped out of the school system to complete their lower secondary education equivalent to Grade 9.
Having a Beep qualification empowers them to build knowledge and gain skills for accessing decent employment opportunities or pursue further education and training, the statement said.
Beep courses can be accessed via computer or smartphone, enabling them to pursue their educational interests while continuing their current professional activities, it added.
Last year, a total of 2,064 people were registered.
Mr Naron said those enrolled in Beep will be given career guidance and counselling before graduation, adding Beep will work closely with the private sector so graduates can apply for employment.