Cambodia: Kandal, Kep and Kompong Thom provinces.
Vietnam: Hoa Binh and Lai Chau provinces.
Laos: Vientiane province.
In those three countries, access to reading material in marginalized communities and the public is limited.In Vietnam, less than 50% of children between 3 and 6 years old go to preschool, and ethnic minorities struggle to integrate into its national educational system.In Cambodia, the school survival rate through Grade 9 is 37.2% and the adult literacy rate is 73.9% (IBE, 2011; UNESCO, 2012).
While in Laos, an early grade reading assessment showed that over 30% of second grade students could not read, while 57% could not understand what they had read. According to Education Sector Development Plan 2016-2020, only 20% of students could cope with lower secondary school Lao language needs, with significant regional disparities.
This, compounded by an underdeveloped regional teacher workforce, makes it challenging to build a culture of learning. In those countries, children rarely leave school because they want to, but because schools do not understand or respond to individual needs, abilities and learning styles. Children with disabilities, ethnic minority groups, girls, and those living in poverty or remote areas are among the most affected.
Though lack of access currently hinders students and the public at large from reaching their full potential, it also creates an opportunity to fill a gap by increasing quality and accessibility of learning content through ICT. As the region continues to gain increased access to the internet, education platforms such as LEARN are well positioned to remove the barriers to access learning content and develop human capital.
Launched in 2014 in Cambodia and recently in Vietnam and Laos, the platform LEARN has reached over 100,000 subscribers and over 113,000 followers on Facebook. In 2015, the Library won the Best Performance CSR at the Cambodia ICT Awards of Cambodia’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication, and has been endorsed by the Royal Government of Cambodia in the ASEAN ICT Awards.
1. Raise public awareness about ASEAN societies, challenges and opportunities by increasing the volume and relevance of learning contents available in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
2. Strengthen the capacity of teachers to deliver quality cross-disciplinary education to students at disadvantaged schools through the use of mobile technology-enabled training and support.
3. Develop human capital through improved learning and reading culture of children.
– Development of content including content focusing on ASEAN identity, interactive features and learning through play for children, remains at the crux of achieving our aim to build a culture of learning.
– 350 preschool and primary teachers are trained in delivering cross-disciplinary education. To achieve this, the Educator, an app designed specifically to support teachers, provides training content with the purpose of improving educational standards.
– The project will work with 40 schools to establish and renovate 40 libraries, which will consist of technology, tablets pre-loaded with LEARN platform, including 1,500 digital content, books, and materials.
– Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports,
– Lao Ministry of Education and Sports,
– Atlassian Foundation,
– Biz Solution,
– iLEAD International School.
Donor: The HEAD Foundation
This project is made possible with the financial support of The HEAD Foundation.
Samphors Vorn, Cambodia Country Director
Erina Mitich, Senior Regional Program Officer, SE Asia & China