The government has announced its intention to establish a nationwide digital network, known as Educational Broadcasting Cambodia (EBC).

With the assistance of South Korea, it is hoped that the new network will improve the quality and diversity of digital education in the Kingdom. The project is currently being piloted at one high school in Kandal province’s Takmao town, just outside the capital.

An inter-ministerial meeting to review the progress of the project was held on January 23, with representatives from the ministries of Economy and Finance; Education, Youth and Sport; information; and Post and Telecommunications. The meeting was chaired by telecoms ministry secretary of state Sok Puthyvuth.

“This project is very important to the future of education in Cambodia, especially in the context of the global Covid-19 epidemic and the process of accelerating digital education and the overall development of training,” said Puthyvuth.

He added that it is a priority activity within the framework of digital socio-economic policy 2021-2035 and digital government policy 2022-2035 to build integrated digital citizens.

After discussion between the four ministries, Puthyvuth praised the success of the EBC pilot programme of online study at Hun Sen Se Rei Pheap High School in Takmao town. He expressed hopes that the project would be extended to schools across the country in the near future.

According to the most recent report, the EBC has produced 4,954 videos of educational content, including video tutorials for programmes from grades 7-12. More than 5,000 students have accessed the programme thus far.

EBC has set up two rooms equipped with 25 laptops and 25 tablets, as well as installed internet infrastructure to cover the entire pilot school compound.

Chhort Bunthong, head of the Culture, Education and Tourist Relations department at the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), said the expansion of digital education system is particularly relevant, as the world is evolving into a digital one.

“From my personal observation, Cambodia has gradually evolved, especially at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has helped accelerate Cambodia’s readiness in the field of digital education,” he said.

Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun supported the efforts to develop the new system. He said this long-term investment will make it easier for the people to participate in the national digital economy policy in the future.

He encouraged efforts to modernise the Kingdom’s education system so that more educated Cambodians can take advantage of the new digital world.

“The government must continue to increase investment in education in this area, such as making digital lesson more diverse and attractive,” he said.

The EBC is a joint project between the four ministries, with a grant from the South Korean Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and is implemented by the Korean Education Broadcasting Station. This project produces digital education content, and is developing a digital content management and training platform to contribute to the promotion of quality education to teachers and students across the country.

The government recently announced its intent to strengthen digital literacy among the Kingdom’s population. On the opening day of the 2023 academic year, Prime Minister Hun Sen urged strong support for digital education.