Cambodia’s information and communication technology (ICT) for education policy document was developed in keeping with its “Education for All” vision of ensuring all citizens equal access to basic quality education, and to prepare them to participate actively in Cambodia’s reconstruction and integration into the knowledge-based global community. The policy was developed in consultation with national and international partners and places emphasis on the role of ICT in distance education, the training of professionals, non-formal education, and the quality of education at the upper-secondary and post-secondary levels, in recognition of the importance of ICT skills in a knowledge-based society.
The ICT in education policy focuses on four areas:
- The provision of ICT access for all students and teachers, and using ICT to reduce the digital divide between Cambodian schools and those in neighbouring countries;
- The function and role of ICT as a learning and teaching tool in education, and as an independent subject;
- The promotion of education for all, regardless of personal characteristics or location, through the integration of ICT with other communication mediums; and
- The use of ICT to raise the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of education management.
The goals of Cambodia’s ICT in education policy are:
- To increase access of all citizens to both formal and nonformal basic education, using ICT as a primary learning and teaching tool;
- To improve the quality of basic education and support lifelong and independent learning; and
- To ensure Cambodia’s ability to complete in an interconnected world, by ensuring a workforce skilled in ICT is available for employment in a knowledge-based society.
ICT Developments in Teacher Training
Since 2003, students in teacher colleges have been required to attend ICT courses 2 hours per week. Computer availability in teacher colleges increased significantly during 2003, and all colleges now have a computer lab. More than 300 of the 600 teacher trainers had undergone training in basic ICT skills by September 2004.
ICT in Higher Education
The majority of higher education establishments are located in urban areas and possess internet connectivity and good ICT facilities. ICT-related courses are among the most popular subjects.
Non-Formal Education and Distance Learning
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been primarily responsible for developing the ICT infrastructure and Khmer content necessary for non-formal education and distance learning. Many rural Cambodians receive the majority of their information through television and radio, which have not been fully leveraged for educational purposes.
ICT Readiness in Schools
Seventy-five percent of secondary schools in Cambodia have no power supply. Of state schools, six percent of lower-secondary and 35 percent of upper-secondary schools have one or two computers, while eight schools have greater than 10 computers. Many private schools offer computer classes.