The Finance Ministry has approved a budget for the Education, Youth and Sport Ministry to spend on computers and printers for public schools.
Finance Minister Aun Pornoniroth in a letter on Friday said the budget is to facilitate a part of the Education Ministry’s reform programme and each public school is to receive about $1,000 each.
The Education Ministry is responsible for disbursing the money to public schools across the Kingdom for computers and printers.
“It is to ensure quality and consistency,” Mr Pornoniroth said. “The Education Ministry has to set a minimum standard for equipment and manage accordingly.”
Education Ministry spokesman Dy Kamboly yesterday said the budget is meant for all public schools, which roughly amount to more than 13,000 schools.
“Although some schools already have computers, we would also like them to buy more,” Mr Kamboly said. “Computers can be placed in libraries for teachers and students to use so they can conduct research and strengthen their Information Technology capabilities.”
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron in a recent statement said public schools can spend the $1,000 budget to either spend on a desktop computer or a laptop, along with a printer, adding that a minimum standard should uphold transparency, accountability and responsibility.
Lay Tith, deputy director of Kampong Thom Provincial High School, yesterday said he would use the budget to buy a laptop and a printer.
“We have already devised a plan, we are only waiting for the budget now,” Mr Tith said. “Computers are very important because schools need access to networks in order to manage scores and documents.”
According to the Economy and Finance Ministry, the budget is to be disbursed in January and in June.
In addition, the Finance Ministry has also agreed to assist underprivileged students in accessing scholarships.
Last year, the National Assembly unanimously approved this year’s $6.7 billion national budget, an increase when compared to 2018’s $6.09 billion by about 11 percent.
In a Cross-Talk discussion with Khmer Times earlier this month, Mr Naron said the Education Ministry has an annual budget of about $900 million. He said 80 percent of the budget is spent on teacher salaries.
“We have to make sure that teachers get their salary through proper accounting to achieve a good result,” Mr Naron said.