The Labour and Education ministries, in collaboration with Unesco, yesterday jointly launched three more Basic Education Equivalency Programme centres in Phnom Penh for school dropouts to continue their education online.
The new centres are at the National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, JVC Technical College and National Institute of Business and are in addition to four centres opened in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province since February.
A joint statement issued yesterday said that BEEP is an initiative by the two ministries and Unesco which provides a flexible alternative for dropouts to complete their education up to Grade 9.
BEEP enables Cambodian youth to pursue their education while continuing professional activities. Having a basic educational qualification will enable them to improve their knowledge and skills for better employment opportunities.
“Within just two months after the official launch of the first learning centre in Phnom Penh in February, 734 dropouts have registered online for BEEP, 25 of them females, from different parts of Cambodia,” the statement said. “Sixty more students also enrolled for courses held under the Ministry of Education in four learning centres.”
It also noted that last month the Labour Ministry started five vocational training centres for dropouts.
Pich Sophoan, a Labour Ministry secretary of state, yesterday said that students who dropped out of school in Grade 6 now had a chance to continue vocational studies and obtain certification equivalent to Grade 9.
“It is a good opportunity for students who left school after finishing Grade 6,” he said. “They can now take advantage of BEEP and continue their studies online whenever they are not busy.”
Since April 29, 32 students have enrolled for the ministry’s vocational courses.
The BEEP initiative is supported by the United Nation’s Joint Programme on Youth Employment in Cambodia.
The online courses are in Khmer and a total of 11 e-learning subjects are available at the 10 centres in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Soun Setha, 17, from Kampong Cham province. yesterday said he dropped out of school in Grade 6 and now wants to obtain his Grade 9 cerrificate.
“I came to Phnom Penh to look for a job but find it difficult to get one because I do not have a certificate,” he said. “A friend told me about BEEP and now I want to continue my studies to get a certificate.”