Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and UNICEF are working together to ensure the continuation of learning for all children, especially the most disadvantaged and marginalized, while schools are closed amidst the current COVID-19 community outbreak.
UNICEF has procured 1,640 radios that will be delivered to indigenous ethnic minority students in the North Eastern provinces of Kratie, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. These students are learning through MoEYS’ multilingual education (MLE) radio-based program, just one of the distance learning modalities MoEYS introduced in the early days of the pandemic.
His Excellency Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodia’s Minister of Education Youth and Sport said, “During these challenging times, I am pleased that MoEYS is able to partner with UNICEF and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to deliver much needed distance learning opportunities for children engaged in multilingual education. For the multi-lingual radio program to be truly impactful, it is important that parents support their children to continue to learn using this valuable service.”
The MLE radio program provides radio lessons for pre and primary school multilingual students in the Kroeng and Tumpoun languages in Ratanakiri province and in the Phnorng language in Mondulkiri province. An estimated 1,527 students from 79 primary schools who don’t currently own a radio will receive one, bringing lessons right into their home.
Foroogh Foyouzat, Representative, UNICEF Cambodia. said, “UNICEF is proud to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Global Partnership for Education in delivering this MLE radio program, which is reaching some of the most vulnerable children in Cambodia and helping them to continue to learn. The provision of radios to children will enable the reach of the program to be significantly extended, which is very important during this time when schools are closed. This is an important initiative, which is helping to address the issue of learning losses due to the impact of COVID19.”
In addition, 34 community preschool MLE teachers and 70 primary school MLE teachers will receive a radio for their teaching purposes to be used in the classroom or during distance teaching and learning activities. The radios will be delivered in early April.
The MLE radio program is being delivered through Cambodia’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts with funding assistance from GPE. UNICEF is the grant agent for this $7 million program, which is delivering emergency support to schools and students during the COVID-19 pandemic.