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Education Ministry postpones exams over coronavirus

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Signing of MoU between MoEYS and Information Ministry on “Distance Learning” and “E-Learning”. KT/Khem Sovannara

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has decided to postpone secondary and high school exams in response to the pandemic.

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron issued a notice yesterday, saying the ministry has decided to postpone examination for secondary students scheduled for August 3 to 10 and high school students scheduled from August 17 to September 9.

“The ministry will determine and announce the new dates for the exams later,” he added.

Mr Naron advised all students to conduct self-learning at home by using textbooks and e-learning programmes like E-School Cambodia and Wiki School system, among other sources.

According to him, the national examination for the two levels may take place at the end of the year depending on the development of the virus situation.

Mr  Naron and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith yesterday signed a Memo- randum of Understanding for the dissemination of distance learning programmes to aid in the prevention and control of the spread of COVID-19, as well as ensure rural students can get the same quality education as those from the urban areas.

Mr Naron, during the ceremony, said since the closure of schools in mid-March, the ministry has set up online study programmes for students from Grades 1 through 12 and has also cooperated with some companies to increase accessibility to the learning platforms.

The number of students registered in the online platforms, he said, has reached 200,000 or about 20 percent among approximately three million students in the Kingdom.

However, since the learning programmes are only accessible online, most students living in the rural areas and do not own smartphones and computers or have access to the internet so they cannot participate in the sessions.

Therefore, the Education Ministry has cooperated with the Information Ministry to organise educational TV programmes to increase access to education, said Mr  Naron. These programmes are set to air mid-April.

Ken Sreynich, a Grade 12 student at Ang Andet High School in Takeo province, supported the initiative by the Education Ministry but added: “Sometimes it’s difficult to understand the lessons taught online. So, I would like to ask the ministry to post some test samples on their official website so students can assess their skills before the actual exam.”

During a press conference at the Peace Palace on Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the government may continue school closures until the health crisis abates.

“We may not be able to reopen schools after the Khmer New Year. Due to the situation, the present academic year may face difficulties,” he said.

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