Koica, Childfund in rural education drive

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Students leave Dong Plet Primary School in Preah Vihear province in 2015. Hong Menea

ChildFund and Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) on Monday announced a new drive to improve primary education in rural Kratie province.

“Koica has made $1.6 million in funding commitments over the next three years to expand the ‘Easy to Learn’ project in remote communities in Kratie,” ChildFund said.

The project is expected to be completed in 2021, with more than 29,000 children, teachers and community members contributing to improving the quality of education in rural areas.

Innovative techniques, including peer-to-peer learning and tablets for e-learning and teacher training using a child-friendly approach, will be applied throughout the project, a statement said.

The Koica-ChildFund joint initiative is to focus on improving the performance of 17 primary schools in Chhlong district.

The project will see the construction of new facilities to create an environment that will make learning easier for students and strengthen the management, administration and leadership of the schools, the statement added.

ChildFund will also work with parents, students and local community leaders to make them more active in the schools and develop local ownership.

“We are thankful for Koica’s support and will continue to work closely with the Cambodian government as it seeks to reform the education system across the country."

“Without the great support and trust from the Royal Government of Cambodia to ChildFund, this project with Koica would not be possible,” ChildFund Cambodia director Prashant Verma said.

Lay Bora, director of the provincial department for Education, Youth and Sport, hailed the collaboration as a platform to improve the education sector through the construction of school buildings and libraries, as well as providing technical work.

He said Koica and ChildFund had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

“Koica has also sent a number of volunteers to Kratie to provide technical skills training to the community."

“When they need to build a library or school building, we accompany them. For instance, we assign our officials to liaise with ChildFund or Koica [teams] during the visits to the field, particularly in Chhlong district. We have to cooperate with them to provide mutual feedback and cooperation,” Bora said.