Written by H.E Samheng Boros
The future of education is brighter than ever. The pandemic’s two years created the stage for newer possibilities and unique learning perspectives.
The COVID-19 outbreak has pushed digital transformation in Cambodian higher education. This phenomenon presents an excellent opportunity for the Cambodian education system to adapt and improve the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in the classroom. It has also transformed the game in education globally, with the adoption of e-learning becoming a must for all educational institutions rather than an option.
Prior to the pandemic, online classes and hybrid learning were not common in Cambodia. On-campus education was the standard, and few educational institutions were eager to invest in online learning resources and the Learning Management System (LMS).
However, after more than two years of the pandemic, everything has changed and gone online. Online learning, meetings, workshops, and seminars have become ubiquitous in educational and non-educational settings. Students and teachers have gotten accustomed to them.
Schools and institutions in Cambodia can now conduct online classes with greater confidence and efficacy. Educational administrators and leaders have gained a greater knowledge of online and blended learning delivery and are more inclined to implement change into their pre-pandemic environment.
In 2020 The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport launched a new Digital and Distance Learning Center in order to accelerate the digital transformation of education and develop instructors’ capacity with emerging technologies.
Google Classroom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Quizlet, Kahoot, Zoom, and other online learning apps are becoming increasingly popular among Cambodian students and teachers.
Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, have made a tremendous impact on educational tools and institutions, reshaping today’s educational landscape and predicting the future of education. Artificial intelligence, in particular, has the potential to transform the educational system by enhancing institutional competitiveness and empowering teachers and students of all capacities.
Despite research pointing to the problems Cambodian students had in continuing their education through online learning, there is no doubt that students involved in online learning during the pandemic experienced numerous online learning platforms and resources. This gives students a sense of confidence in using technology to help them study even after the pandemic has faded.
The experience of creating and conducting lessons and classes remotely or digitally is invaluable. The insights gathered from such ad hoc efforts and experiences will have a positive impact on assumptions, beliefs, and attitudes regarding e-learning and hybrid learning in both schools and universities.
Overall, the pandemic has provided an opportunity for Cambodian education to enhance technology integration in mainstream classrooms. This is critical for adopting blended learning in the classroom. The digital revolution of education has the potential to allow the sector to catch up with educational development in neighboring countries. In this context, the digitalisation of education, facilitated by rapid technological advancement, is a welcome phenomenon that must be capitalised upon.
H.E Samheng Boros is Minister attached to the Prime Minister , Royal Government of Cambodia and Chairman of National Social Assistance Fund Board (NSAF) and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY).
Photos: SEA Globe and medium.com