ICT Curriculum Will Prepare High School Students for Productive Careers

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អត្ថបទ​នេះមានជាភាសា៖ kmខ្មែរ

Students at Khsach Kandal high school work in pairs to solve problems provided in the ICT textbook.

In January this year, 22 teachers from 10 selected public schools were trained to teach grade 12 students about the career paths in the information, communications and technology (ICT) sector. The training was carried out by the Office of ICT in Education of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and took place at the Sihanouk High School in Sihanoukville. It effectively helps to launch the new ICT curriculum and its related textbook. These 20 teachers join another group of colleagues from one rural school in Kandal province and one urban school in Phnom Penh who were trained to use these materials by the Open Institute.


ICT is a growing sector in Cambodia and employers are seeking skilled post-secondary graduates to the many jobs that will help advance Cambodia in this highly technological age. This demand is part of a global trend in which international businesses are increasingly seeking to offshore service-related jobs as advances in communications technologies allow these functions to be performed offsite. From 2000 to 2010, for example, the number of ICT jobs in India jumped from 284,000 to over 2 million (Bardhan, Jaffee, and Kroll, 2013).


However, little information existed to help students enter the field. “There is no information about work in the ICT field, so young people are afraid to join,” described Kheng Piseth, Open Institute project coordinator.


Recognizing this, the Open Institute worked with MoEYS to develop the textbook, curriculum and related materials to introduce students to the range of ICT career paths, develop their critical thinking skills for this future work environment, and learn what hard and soft skills and education are required for entry into this job market. No material like this has existed in Cambodia before.


Working with a team of content developers, pedagogues and illustrators, the Open Institute, with funding from Development Innovations, first drafted the book in English, before translation into Khmer. The first Khmer draft was completed in August, 2015 and piloted over three weeks in September and October with close monitoring from MoEYS. Based on the initial experience and resulting evaluation, a second draft was produced and one thousand copies were printed in early January 2016.


The textbook, and related curriculum, is drafted into 15 lessons and each lesson requires two two-hour trainings and includes essay writing and quizzes. Students have been receptive to the new curriculum and are excited to understand how they can shape their future careers. “First I thought that ICT is not important, and hard to learn, but I found that it is not hard to learn after I went through this book. I love ICT after learning this book,” remarked Kol Kunthea, a female grade 12 student from ROTA High School in Kandal Province.


Following their training in January, the 22 teachers will be introducing the curriculum to their students with close monitoring from the Open Institute and MoEYS until June 2016. The Office of ICT in Education at MoEYS anticipates a nation-wide roll out of the ICT textbook and curriculum for the 2016-2017 academic year with large scale printing expected to occur in July this year.


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