A new digital literacy and Internet safety programme will soon be piloted by Smart Axiata together with Google and GSMA, the global trade association for mobile network operators.
The partnership was announced after being formally endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, which supports the project’s implementation. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is also involved.
The programme aims to benefit more than 1,400 high school students (grades 10 and 11) in Phnom Penh as well as Kampong Cham and Kampong Chhnang provinces.
“Digital literacy is a key skill needed to encourage mobile adoption in Cambodia. We are proud to be working with such esteemed partners on this project to demonstrate the value of the Internet, encourage responsible use and promote the importance of digital citizenship,” said Feiruz Ikhwan, Smart Axiata corporate financial officer.
“Our long-term goal is to roll this out nationwide to help ensure young Cambodians are accessing the Internet safely and effectively,” the CFO said.
In the project’s first phase, the Ministry of Education chose three schools in each province and nominated three teachers in each school to participate in the training, which will be led by alumni from SmartEdu, a Smart Axiata programme that aims to trigger positive change and empower Cambodians through education.
The training, overseen by Google, will include basic digital literacy coaching and cover Internet safety issues such as password security and online threats.
“At Google, we are technology optimists who believe both education and technology can improve the lives of students and educators, and it is important that we help the youth develop empathy, safety and responsibility as well as look out for one another online,” said Su Ann Lim, Google head of industry for technology and telco.
“We are delighted to be able to work with Smart Axiata and the government to design workshops that will hopefully be central for future programmes that promote responsible use of digital media.”
Facilitators will embed lessons from GSMA’s Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit and Google’s Digital Citizenship Curriculum.
The programme will also cover the creation of entertaining and engaging videos for Internet platforms like Youtube, teaching students to script, shoot and edit videos on online safety using smartphones.
The best video in each province will win a $1,000 cash prize, with winners chosen based on the amount of ‘likes’ the video receives. The schools in each province with the highest number of video submissions will receive $2,500 worth of educational materials.
The programme, supported by the government’s Capacity Building and R&D Fund, could be expanded to more schools nationwide if the pilot is successful.