Cambodia Investment Review

Bridging the Digital Divide: Cambodia Launches Pioneering Initiative to Foster Youth Digital Literacy and Inclusion in the Digital Economy

Bridging the Digital Divide: Cambodia Launches Pioneering Initiative to Foster Youth Digital Literacy and Inclusion in the Digital Economy

Cambodia Investment Review

In a transformative move aimed at equipping Cambodian youth with essential digital skills, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT), and the Dariu Foundation (TDF) have officially inaugurated the Digital Literacy Initiative (DLI). This program is a strategic response to an in-depth assessment conducted in 2023, which highlighted the significant potential benefits Cambodia stands to gain by addressing the prevailing challenges in digital literacy education, especially in rural secondary and vocational schools.

While Cambodia has made strides in integrating digital literacy into its education system, challenges persist. These include inadequate facilities, a curriculum that lacks practical relevance, and a dearth of skilled teachers. As a result, students acquire theoretical knowledge but often fall short in gaining practical, hands-on experience. Moreover, the current system does not adequately nurture youth innovation or facilitate the transformation of technical solutions into viable business ventures.

Addressing these concerns, the DLI program, facilitated by its implementing partner Swisscontact, aims to revolutionize the existing landscape of digital education. Over a span of two years (2024-2025), the initiative will focus on students from high schools and Technical and Vocational Schools in Siem Reap and Battambang provinces. The program’s ultimate goal is to integrate youth into the digital economy by providing comprehensive digital literacy education and fostering an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Multifaceted Benefits of Coding

“Learning to code is more than just understanding technology. It’s about nurturing critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and collaborative project management,” stated Mr. Daniel Keller, Vice President of the Dariu Foundation. He emphasized the multifaceted benefits of coding, including the development of leadership, presentation skills, and the ability to design project proposals within a budget.

Read more: Platform Impact & OCIC Group to Develop French-Inspired Coding School at Connexion Community Hub

Launch of the Digital Literacy Initiative (DLI) in Phnom Penh.

The program’s success is anchored on two pivotal outcomes. Firstly, it envisions students actively engaging in wage employment, entrepreneurship, or further education in the digital domain upon completing the program. Secondly, it aims to establish a sustainable framework within schools for the independent operation of Coding Clubs and Coding Courses, thereby ensuring a lasting impact on digital literacy education.

The initiative is not just about imparting digital skills; it’s about creating a symbiotic relationship between the government, private sector, and educational institutions. To this end, the Dariu Foundation has formalized its collaboration with MoEYS and MLVT through Memorandums of Understanding, underscoring a collective commitment to enhancing public education and youth engagement in the digital economy.

Testament To Partnerships and A Shared Vision

Swisscontact, renowned for its contribution to education and entrepreneurship for young individuals, views this partnership with the Dariu Foundation as a significant enrichment. “This collaboration enhances our capabilities in the field of education and entrepreneurship, specifically for the youth in Cambodia,” remarked Mr. Philippe Schneuwly, CEO of Swisscontact. The organization is also gearing up for a fundraising drive to extend its support to more schools and youth across the country.

This collaborative initiative stands as a testament to the power of partnerships and a shared vision. As Cambodia embarks on this journey to bridge the digital divide, the Digital Literacy Initiative represents not just an educational program, but a beacon of hope, signaling a brighter, digitally inclusive future for its youth.

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