The government is urging parents to use technology, such as e-learning apps for smartphones and tablets, to improve the reading skills of children.
Speaking at the Andongmeas primary school in Ratanakkiri province on Tuesday, undersecretary of state for education Heang Si Ne, said many students were using technology at home, so parents can install apps for their children to study outside of school.
“We can install many apps which provide advantages for reading,” he said.
“Students cannot borrow tablets to take home and have little time to read at the library,” he said. “If the parents have these kind of apps at home, they can urge their children to read more.”
Ket Chanto, an education specialist at Plan International, said the reading apps scheme was being tested at 20 schools across the kingdom, including two schools in Ratanakkiri.
Mr Chanto said the apps were organised and studied by development partners including Plan International, Aide et Action and the Education Ministry, adding there were many novels and e-books available on the apps to improve the reading skills of students.
In Ratanakkiri, where the new school building and library was funded by Plan International, many students have tried reading on tablets.
In the library, indigenous student Sav Them said it was her first time using e-learning and reading stories on a tablet.
“I can read many books, novels and other stories on the tablets. It is fast and easy to search,” she said, adding it would improve her reading skills and knowledge.
Librarian Sok Sokunthea applauded the technology, saying she has herself had never used mobile apps for e-learning before.
She said she thought the technology would be positive for students, who preferred what is new.
“I just got the tablets this morning,” she said. “Many students are more interested in tablets and TV than books.”