The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has renewed its call for parents and guardians to help their children with e-learning in all its forms during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of March 15, six educational institutions in the capital and five provinces have temporarily suspended in-person classes and continued their online classes.
Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post on March 16 that in the 2020-2021 academic years, students are expected to learn through short courses – classroom learning and distance learning, self-study, homework and lesson summaries.
“The Ministry of Education would like to thank and call on parents to continue to help their children with online learning,” he said.
Soveacha said parents should spend time reading with their children and getting them to read. They need to choose books to read that their children will enjoy – whether in physical or digital format – in addition to their textbooks.
He added that as of March 15, educational institutions under the ministry had temporarily suspended in-person classes and continued to learn online. The suspended settlements were located in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Prey Veng, Koh Kong, Preah Sihanoukville and the Stung Hav district of Preah Sihanouk province.
Eight other educational institutions in Samrong district and nine educational institutions in Bati district in Takeo province were also suspended.
Soveacha said schools in some provinces had not been linked to the February 20 event and are still successfully teaching students in classrooms while applying health measures consistently.
In a notice on the temporary suspension of public and private schools in the capital and five provinces, Education, Youth and Sports Minister Hang Chuon Naron said all schools should continue to offer online classes.
A University of Phnom Penh student named Siv Narith said he understood why schools had to close due to Covid-19, but given the money the school would save by reducing electricity bills and ‘other costs, he wondered why the tuition fees stayed the same.
“As for the quality of education, some teachers now only show pre-recorded videos of themselves. Thus, they can continue to reuse the same videos for many different classes.
“I asked why they weren’t broadcasting their lessons live and they said they were too busy and didn’t have time,” he said.
Pech Bolen, president of the Federation of Educational Services in Cambodia, said on March 16 that the online learning and teaching experience for more than a year now following the Covid-19 epidemic, schools schools that prepared e-learning for students were not a problem.
“But little preschool and primary school children still have some problems because they are not able to study effectively on their own. So we try to help them by teaching them [them with a live instructor],” he said.
He added that the private schools of the Federation of Educational Services of Cambodia had actually helped their students by reducing tuition fees by 20 to 30 percent. But some parents and guardians had not yet come to pay their school fees.
“New courses in our private schools will start in April and May and we will continue to offer tuition fees reduced by 20-30%,” he said.