Access to education in Cambodia during the COVID-19 global pandemic

Author: Sideth Chhin

Chhin, Sideth, 2021 Access to education in Cambodia during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Cambodia is among the many countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of impacts on health and the economy, and disruption of education. This research project aimed to examine and evaluate the online learning for children in Cambodia during the pandemic by analysing and assessing the strengths and limitations of each learning platform utilised by the government. The implementation of online education in Cambodia has presented a challenge, since not all students have had equal access to technology and internet connectivity necessary to benefit from remote learning platforms. The analysis is based on the secondary data collected from individual learning platforms and the Cambodian government’s websites. There are several key findings arising from the research. First, online learning has complemented classroom education in Cambodia during the school closures and thus has contributed to continuous education for most children despite the disruption to normal practices. The research has shown that delivering online education through a number of different platforms has enabled students in Cambodia to access learning materials and improved learning experiences. Teaching on the Facebook platform has received the most interest from students compared to all other online learning platforms, whereas the E-learning platform was better than other platforms in terms of friendliness of user interface and content arrangement for the best experience of students. The study found that children of families living in advantaged urban areas would likely have benefited more from online education, since they are more likely to have the necessary devices, such as computers, Smartphone, and internet services, to access online learning materials. On the other hand, remote learning in Cambodia via TV has been more beneficial for those who live in many rural areas where the internet service is unavailable. Therefore, although online learning has been instrumental in continuing delivery of education during the pandemic school closures, the limitation of ICT infrastructure has proven to be the main challenge for the Cambodian government to expand its coverage and access to online learning for students in rural areas. Implications are that greater internet coverage and equitable availability of technology resources in remote communities should be considered by the government in the post-COVID-19 era to ensure the education system is prepared for the future needs of Cambodia’s children.

Keywords: Distance learning, Online learning, E-learning, Education in Cambodia, COVID-19 global pandemic

Subject: International Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Priyambudi Sulistiyanto