In continuation of the work in the Open Schools Program, started in 2007, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Open Institute and the WordForge Foundation to continue the highly successful deployment of the Master Plan for ICT in Education and to improve research in public universities.
Since 2007 Open Institute – with funding from the Government of Spain through the WordForge Foundation – has supported the MoEYS in the preparation and implementation of a Master Plan for ICT in Education. Through this plan the Ministry has increased the number of computer facilities in schools and teacher training centers, and has standardized the teaching of ICT in schools, teacher training centers and the Ministry itself, using always Khmer language free software and the Unicode standard.
As part of this plan the Ministry has also written new curricula for pre-service teacher training, and offered job-centered ICT training to over 80% of the upper secondary school teachers who are working in schools that have computers for teaching. As students are concerned, the Ministry has added optional ICT courses in grades 11 and 12, and developed curricula that help students adapt to the present job environment in the age of information technology, while also developing the necessary critical thinking skills.
The new MoU concentrates on remaining aspects of the plan, such as deployment of the textbook that has been approved for grade 11 ICT, writing a textbook for the grade 12 ICT course, and supporting continuation of teacher training. As a new activity, the Open Institute and the WordForge Foundation are working on a textbook on research methodology well adapted to Cambodia and the level of Cambodian students, to be used by university students.
During the ceremony, H.E. Im Sethy, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport highlighted how “standardization, the use of Khmer language in ICT, the systematic training of Ministry officials, their use of e-mail, and the structuring of teacher and student ICT training have deeply modified the operations of the Ministry, bringing it into the age of information technology.” The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation for these continuous support.
Javier Solá, president of the WordForge Foundation, expressed satisfaction on “how the close cooperation between the Ministry, WordForge and Open Institute has been able to produce sustainable changes that – without adding any extra costs to the Ministry – have become deeply integrated on the principles and procedures of the Ministry, ensuring continuation and sustainability.
Phnom Penh, 05 April 2013