Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Partnership provides youth mobile devices, data service

Partnership provides youth mobile devices, data service

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Smart Mobile CEO Thomas Hundt (left) and UNESCO’s Sardar Umar Salam sign an agreement as education minister Hang Chuon Naron looks on. UNESCO

Partnership provides youth mobile devices, data service

UNESCO and Smart Axiata have officially signed a partnership agreement to provide two years of support to the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP), covering 2020-2022.

The agreement includes the provision of mobile devices and mobile data credits for out-of-school youths to further their educations.

The partnership agreement was officially signed on February 17 by UNESCO Country Representative in Cambodia Sardar Umar Alam and Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

Education minister Hang Chuon Naron presided over the ceremony along with secretary of state for the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Pich Sophoan.

According to education ministry officials, Smart has been actively involved in supporting the BEEP programme since its first phase began in 2017-2018. This is the second phase of Smart’s continued support for BEEP, providing both devices and the mobile internet access.

According to the press release announcing the agreement, Smart has committed to providing 350 internet connected tablets and 350 SIM cards with unlimited data and internet packages along with five laptops in order to sponsor 500 students’ access to online courses free of charge through 2022.

The press release quoted Smart CEO Hundt as saying that access to education was a basic human right and one that Smart believes in very strongly.

“By harnessing the power of technology, young people, especially those who have entered the workforce without basic qualifications, now have opportunities to continue learning, growing and improving.

“We are proud to continue the partnership with UNESCO and the relevant ministries to address an urgent need to provide ongoing educational opportunities to young people,” Hundt said.

UNESCO’s Umar Alam said the organisation is pleased to continue working together with Smart to provide flexible and digital educational solutions for students at BEEP learning centres to pursue their studies remotely.

“This public and private partnership will create more opportunities to ensure youth can access quality education and job oriented skills,” Sardar Umar was quoted as saying.

A total of 21 BEEP learning centres were established in 2019-2020 in 12 municipalities and provinces across Cambodia and there are plans to expand the programme to include 35 learning centres across 15 municipalities and provinces by 2023, according to the press release.

The education ministry confirmed that BEEP is a joint initiative between the education and labour ministries and UNESCO to expand access to basic education for young people and to help address the high dropout rate for high school students and provide those students with an opportunity to further their educations through Technical Vocational and Training institutes or technical schools.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group