The Ministry of Education yesterday opened a centre for digital and distance learning at the capital’s Preah Sisowath High School. The construction of the centre, which will serve as a studio for producing educational videos and a venue for digital forums, seeks to advance virtual education in Cambodia.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister Hang Chuon Naron said: “This renovated centre will allow the Education Ministry to work with relevant institutions to develop a higher quality of digital learning programmes in Cambodia.”
“These days, learning via online platforms plays a significant role in responding to the current COVID-19 situation. Therefore, relevant institutions, ministries and individuals must look to enrich technological capacity. Teachers must also adapt to digital teaching methods to facilitate the effective virtual transfer of knowledge and skills to students,” he said.
While Cambodia accounts for three million students, only 30 percent of them have access to smart devices such as smartphones, desktops and laptops, Mr Naron said at the event.
He said the newly opened centre will contribute enormously in reaching more students and providing them with improved learning materials made accessible via the ministry’s official website.
“The centre will help our teachers and educational experts produce more learning videos and programmes to assist students, especially those living in remote areas and vulnerable communities and thus have limited to no access to the internet and smart devices to resume their studies online,” he said.
The ministry has been working continuously to improve distance learning in the Kingdom which comes amid the nationwide school closures spurred over fears of transmission of the coronavirus. Despite difficulties raised by students and educators in adjusting to the new normal, Mr Naron said school closures remain necessary.
“If our country experiences a massive outbreak, the national security and safety of the citizens will be at great risk. People have witnessed how much our state has been affected across all sectors [due to COVID-19],” he said, as he highlighted the advantages of e-Learning.
Through the switch to online learning, Mr Naron said students will learn how to be more independent. They are also provided with the opportunity to improve their research skills using a variety of accessible sources online, as well as create their own learning habits.
With the adjustments to the new way of instruction, Mr Naron urged students to remain resilient and continue to take every challenge as an opportunity to further their skills and knowledge so they could be well-equipped once they enter the job market.
- Tags: digital learning, Preah Sisowath High School