Last year, Kim Kinal, a grade 10 student at Pursat High School, was awarded 2nd outstanding student in Cambodia for Physics. He attributed his success to using the internet and social media, which has aided him in his studies as well as networking.
“I use the internet to search for exercises and lessons related to Maths and Physics,” Kinal explained, “I can also study English by myself via the internet. Of course, when I am free, I log in to Facebook to communicate with others. Through Facebook, I got to know my seniors, borrowed their books, and shared experience with them. I have created a group to study together and it improved my studies and allowed me to become an outstanding student.”
The quality of Cambodian Education is improving remarkably and teachers and students in some high schools are using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) such as computers and the Internet to facilitate their teaching and learning.
For Pock Seiha, a Khmer Literature teacher, computer and internet is a way of engaging students in their study. He has created different groups in social media to share information and knowledge related to Khmer Literature.
“The Ministry of Education allowed me to study an internet program in Battambang University last year. They taught us about internet and when I came back, I taught my colleagues about this.”
Seiha created Facebook groups in which he posts materials for his students to read. If they have additional questions, they can post it on Facebook. Aside from Khmer literature, one of the many groups he created was the “Millions of people’s problems” group. In that group, he puts up problems that people face relating to psychology as well as post some answers.
“If I don’t use the internet, students will find it hard to get information as they spend so little time with their teachers. One hour is not enough,” Seiha said.
Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is pushing for ICT use in Cambodia’s education . The number of students and teachers making use of computers and the Internet for teaching and learning however is still low. A research on computer and internet use among teachers and students in three high schools in Cambodia revealed that majority of high school students used computer and internet for entertainment and teachers’ computer and internet usage is still limited. The majority of them don’t use internet for their administrative work but only for searching for knowledge.
Mr. Ang Ti, 56, a technical deputy director of Pursat high school, said that while ICT is useful for building of knowledge and capacity, the school does not have ability to provide enough equipment to teachers and students.
“I am glad the ministry added ICT into our education system. Currently we only have a small building with two rooms supported by Room to Read organization with 21 computers.”
The hope is for computers and internet technology to be integrated in every Cambodian schools.