The term information and communication technologies (ICTs) is used in several government documents, such as the 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education, the 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education, and the 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan, but there is no official definition provided for the term. The term educational technological processes is used briefly in the 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education.
The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan defines e-Learning as “the applications of ICT to support delivery of educational contents to students and/or learners on the Internet and in distance. In other words, e-learning indicates electronic transfer of skills and knowledge via the Internet, network, mass media materials (e.g., DVD) or satellite”.
The 2022 EduTech Roadmap refers to "edutech".
“ICTopia Cambodia” is refered to in The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan as “a society or community possessing desirable and perfect qualities geared by ICT.”
The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan additionally refers to “e-Awareness” as the ability to use ICT. In the Master Plan, the e-Awareness is set to realize the “Inclusive e-Cambodia” where most of Cambodian people are able to access and use digital online information. Other terms used include “Digital Mind”, “Digital Literacy”, “e-Government” and “e-Service”.
Constitution and laws: There is no ICT or EdTech Act. The 1993 Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia stipulates that the state shall adopt an educational program according to the principle of modern pedagogy including technology and foreign languages (Article 67). Cambodia’s Constitution additionally states that the state shall promote economic development in all sectors and remote areas, especially in agriculture, handicrafts, industry, with attention to policies of water, electricity, roads and means of transport, modern technology and a system of credit (Article 61).
The 2007 Education Law emphasizes that “the state shall promote and support research, development, invention and production, which are scientific and technological for education to meet the needs of the labor markets and globalization to promote human resource capacity and to enhance the development of the country. The Ministry in charge of education shall determine the policies on science and technology for education at all educational levels of the Cambodian education system in compliance with the policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia” (Article 28).
The 2015 Law on Telecommunications establishes the universal service obligation (Article 39) throughout Cambodia to encourage the construction and development of telecommunications networks in the Kingdom of Cambodia, promote the provision of basic telecommunications services, value added services and emergency services more broadly into rural and remote areas, and reduce the digital divide for the social and economic development based on principles of non-discrimination, impartiality and transparency (Article 40). Telecommunications are defined as the “science and technology in sending and receiving the signals, data, sound, pictures or types of other information by using the energy in the form of electro-magnetic, electricity, radio, light, or other forms”.
Policies, plans and strategies: The Royal Government of Cambodia recognizes ICT as a key tool in transforming the national economy and industry, with a strong policy and strategy framework that emphasizes its integration within the country’s education system.
The 2022 EduTech Roadmap: The National Council of Science, Technology and Innovation (NCSTI) in collaboration with Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) of Republic of Korea and Cambodia University of Technology and Science (CamTech) introduced the EduTech Roadmap in 2022. The roadmap aims to promote education through the use technologies, highlighting the necessary products and services for underpinning education. These products and services are strategically palnned into four technology pillars that provide direction for the support of technology for education in three different terms accordingly: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. The first pillar features three essentials, namely electricity, computer, and Internet. The second pillar is about the management system consisting of learning management system (LMS), university/school management system (U/SMS), education management information system (EMIS), and human resource management system (HRMS). The third pillar presents the courseware, comprised of digital learning platform, and video game and gamified software application. The fourth pillar stresses on the capacity building including digital literacy (Media literacy, Information literacy, ICT literacy, Identity literacy, Digital scholarship, and communication and collaboration), and hybrid learning pedagogy training.
The 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education aims to make better use of ICT to achieve the long-term vision of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to “establish and develop human resources of the very highest quality and ethics in order to develop a knowledge-based society within Cambodia”. The general objectives of the Master Plan are to increase access to education at all levels (formal and non-formal), improve the relevance and effectiveness of basic education by harnessing ICT as a major tool to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, develop ICT-based professional skills needed in a knowledge-based society, and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the MoEYS and school management.
The 2015-25 Cambodia Industrial Development Policy addresses several issues including inadequate supply of electricity, human resources, low level of technology application, and telecommunication network. In the policy, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has aimed to transformed from labor-driven society to a knowledge-based society. Therefore, the RGC has palnned as in the fourth vision to provide the infrastructure of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), to promote science, technology and innovation, to improve the STEM education from primary to tertiary levels by focusing on the reform of curriculum and the standardization of study programs from primary to higher education.
The 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education aims to further integrate ICT within the education system in order to increase efficiency, provide sufficient evidence-based information for leadership decisions, and enhance teaching and learning for all students, producing graduates who are “innovative, creative, and ethical, and who can navigate the challenges of the information and knowledge economy and society”. The strategy is structured around five key operational areas: 1) infrastructure, connectivity and equipment, 2) governance and management, 3) finance, 4) ICT resources for teaching and learning, and 5) human resources development. The goal of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports’ Policy and Strategy for ICT in education is to integrate ICT as a teaching, learning and knowledge sharing tool across the education sector, equip students with the ICT knowledge and skills to transition to the 21st century world of work, and adopt a new management and administrative process that increases efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness of education governance and performance.
The MoEYS has additionally published a document on the Policies and Strategies on Information and Communication Technology in Cambodia in 2004, summarizing the country’s policy and strategy framework for ICT integration in different sectors, including education.
The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan similarly recognizes ICT as a “key driving force in all aspects of development” with a vision of setting up an “ICTopia Cambodia” based on four strategic thrusts: Empowering People (e-human resource development and e-awareness), Ensuring Connectivities (National ICT infrastructure, legal framework, and cybersecurity), Enhancing Capabilities (ICT Industry, ICT standards, ICT Research and Development) and Enriching e-Services (including e-Public services, e-Economy services, and e-Education services). The Master Plan has dedicated sections on “Strengthening ICT Education”, “E-Education Services”, and “Educational Program Development”. In the e-Education services, e-learning is identified as an additional means of education provision through the initiative of e-School. However, the ICT infrastructure from the Government to support e-School and/or e-learning draws a policy attention.
Cambodia’s 2019-23 Education Strategic Plan also focuses on science and technology as part of the development of a “quality, equitable and inclusive education system”, with several objectives on enhancing digital skills and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Promotion of digital education is one of the main targets in school reform, which aims to integrate ICT into teaching and learning, to equip students ICT knowledge and skills in order to fulfil the 21st-century labor market, to ensure that students complete formal education with ICT knowledge and skills for their futher education, to increase the efficiency and effecrtiveness of educational institution administration using ICT tools, e-resources, and digital systems, establishing standards for infrastructure and network connections at national and sub-national levels, and to provide financial support for ICT in education sector using the Royal Government of Cambodia’s budget. However, the key strategies for these actions seem to be missing. The 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap also has objectives on the development of ICT infrastructure and digital literacy.
The 2019 New Generation School Operational Policy Guidelines supports the increased use of technology in New General Schools for 21st century learners, with innovations in ICT and STEM subjects.
In Cambodia’s Higher Education Roandmap 2030 and Beyond, Goal 1, which emphasizes strategies for quality and relevance, there is an objective that aims to improve teaching and learning in higher education. One of the strategies (Strategy 1.1.2) to improve teaching and learning is equipping both full-time and part-time faculty members with new and up-to-date teaching and learning approaches, methodologies, and techniqies; and enhancing their ability to use new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and promoting the use of ICT in teaching and learning that lead to the research-based and lab-based teaching and learning.
The 2021-35 Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework outlines a long-term vision to build a thriving digital economy and society by laying the groundwork for promoting digital adoption and transformation in all sectors of society – the state, citizens, and businesses – in order to promote new economic growth and improve social welfare in the "new normal." Cambodia's digital transformation entails adopting or capturing and maximizing the benefits of advances in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and digital technology in order to increase productivity and economic efficiency, boost national economic growth, and build a civilized society where digital citizens can benefit from the use of digital services that are highly inclusive, reliable, and trustworthy. The government has aimed to attract digital talents for digital transformation, while currently there are only 50,000 digital talents in the country. Some intiatives are in place such as Techn Start-up Cnetre, ICT Centre, Skills Development Fund, Entrepremuership Fund, data-bases system, and Capacity-building Funds in Telecommunication and ICT sectors.
The 2022-2035 Digital Government Policy features the vision of "establishing digital government to improve the quality of life of citizens and build their trust through improved public service delivery" by establishing national coordination and implementation through the establishment of the Digital Government Committee and digital transformation units in ministries, institutions, and subnational administrations; the preparation of priority national budgets; and the recruitment of technical officers. In this policy, the first strategic goal is to promote the development of digital government infrastructure with the following four strategies: Strategy 1: Building and improving digital connectivity infrastructure, Strategy 2: Building and improving infrastructure for digital payment systems for public services, Strategy 3: Building and strengthening digital security infrastructure, and Strategy 4: Developing postal service infrastructure. The policy is divided into three stages: (1) Building Digital Government Foundation 2022-2025, (2) Digital Technology Adoption 2026-2030, and (3) Digital Government Transformation 2031-2035.
Digital competency frameworks: The 2016 Teacher Professional Standards is a competency development and professional skills improvement framework which includes ICT skills and using ICT for teaching and learning. The Competency Standards for Directors of Teacher Training Centers also emphasize ICT skills for teachers.
Changes as a result of COVID-19: Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the government aimed to ensure that the education system, including schools, communities and families, rapidly responsed using mid- and long-term, multi-risk and sustainability-oriented approaches. These were connected to the country’s COVID-19 Education Response Plan. MoEYS has taken important steps on building the foundation for a blended model of learning through the production of continuous learning content, and monitoring systems at the central and sub-national levels. This objective aims to ensure that the immediate COVID-19 response measures can contribute to, and reinforce, the resilience of the national education system, and support the ESP’s focus on equitable access to inclusive quality education for all children, with improved learning outcomes. It provides the opportunity to strengthen the education system’s crisis preparedness, response and recovery mechanisms, and to improve its planning, monitoring and accountability systems. MoEYS and development partners have focused on strengthening the capacity of MoEYS and education stakeholders on pandemic preparedness, response and recovery, improving planning, monitoring and accountability systems to ensure quality, inclusive learning through enhanced capacity of EMIS and school-based data management systems to track student and teacher attendance and performance and strengthening MoEYS distance learning programme for teachers and students to ensure continuous learning.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap aims for the government to develop and implement a school physical improvement plan to ensure all schools have basic facilities (including electricity), stating specifically that “schools will be provided with…electricity”. The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan similarly supports the construction of ICT infrastructure in schools, stating that the MoEYS “should make efforts to install ICT infrastructure such as electrical power…not only in urban areas but rural areas”. Moreover, according to the 2019-2023 Education Strategic Plan, dedicated government funds should be used to finance certain core activities and sub-activities, which include electricity. In areas where electricity and connectivity is not available, the government has a policy to provide a mobile ICT learning (m-learning) service.
In 2004, the government additionally issued a Royal Decree to establish the Rural Electrification Fund (REF). The objectives of the REF are to promote equitable rural electrification coverage and encourage private sector participation in providing sustainable rural electrification services. The government has set a target to reach 100% of villages with electricity by 2020 (including battery power) and have 70% of households connected with grid-quality electricity by 2030.
The 2001 Electricity Law does not explicitly reference education institutions.
Computers and devices: The 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap aims to increase the number of students who have access to home computers and school computers that are in good condition. According to the 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education, the MoEYS should issue specifications for computer labs in schools, with all computers deployed being desktop computers that fulfil certain minimum requirements in low power consumption and low maintenance. Computer labs should be fully networked, with a ratio of computers to teachers between 1:5 and 1:10. The 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap and 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan similarly emphasize that schools be provided with computers and computer labs. According to the 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education, a number of schools have received donations of computers and training directly from NGOs and development partners.
In 2021, following COVID-19, with support from the MoEYS and other partners, there was a collection of 150 second hand computers to distribute in classrooms. The Ministry of Education selected 50% of economically disadvantaged students to receive a computer.
The MoEYS supports the vision of Cambodia’s classrooms gradually transforming into “smart classrooms” that are well-equipped with educational and technological resources and “provide students with the best opportunity to learn”, as stated in the 2019-23 Education Strategic Plan and 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap.
New Generation Schools in particular (which have been granted increased autonomy to encourage innovation) are encouraged to have “intensive use of technology to drive innovation”, with the use of ICT considered one of the key elements in these schools. According to the 2019 New Generation School Operational Policy Guidelines, all New General Schools are required to have operational computer labs that can accommodate at least 50% of the school or more with at least 2 hours of access per student per week and educational software to promote efficiencies in teaching, learning and assessment (such as 3D classrooms). Schools with over 25 classes should have at least 3 computer labs to ensure that all students can access at least 3 hours of instruction per week at secondary school level and 2 hours of instruction at primary level. Moreover, schools are required to have e-library services (with tablet access and educational software), while all teachers in New General Schools must have laptop computers and access to least one or more LCD Projectors to facilitate the use of ICT in education as a requirement for continuing accreditation.
Internet connectivity: The 2022 EduTech Roadmap aims to increase the number of students who have access to a stable internet connection at home and at school. Both the 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education and 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap emphasize that schools should be provided with internet connectivity. According to the 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education, the MoEYS should create standards on ICT infrastructure, connectivity and equipment for educational institutions that provide sufficient physical and logical security as well as offline replication to ensure resilience (with specific short-term and medium-term strategies). The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan similarly aims for the MoEYS to install ICT infrastructure such as internet broadband in rural and urban areas under the section “Constructing ICT infrastructure in Schools”, while also including schools within its national ICT infrastructure plan.
Cambodia also has a universal service obligation to support universal access to broadband internet across the country published in a sub-decree. The sub-decree prioritises public educational institutions or free educational establishments for the provision of internet broadband services.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The MoEYS emphasizes the development and use of e-Learning and Open and Distance Learning programs in several ICT policy and strategy documents as both a supportive tool for the delivery of education services in all education sub-sectors and as an alternative channel to provide education. The 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education supports the use of e-Learning, open source software, and the procurement of e-resources to support teaching and learning, as well as adopting an open source platform for all education levels. The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan supports e-Learning as a good distance learning method that can be used as an alternative supplementary channel to provide education, aiming to establish and distribute e-Learning contents (such as video lectures) and create an enabling environment for e-Learning and implementation of open and distance learning programs. Similar goals are set in the 2019-23 Education Strategic Plan, which aims to develop access to ICT in order to strengthen open distance education and training and develop an e-Learning education system, mobile applications, open educational resources and digital content to promote life-long learning. The MoEYS has published the Prakas No. 940 IK.Prak on the Organization and Functioning of the Center for Digital Education and Distance Education.
During the COVID-19 school closures in March 2020, the MoEYS issued a directive on the implementation of home-based distance learning from pre-primary to upper secondary level to be applied in all state and private schools. Through partnerships with NGOs, civil society, and the private sector, the MoEYS developed distance learning content through online platforms, television and radio broadcasts, and paper-based learning material. To ensure inclusivity, efforts were made to integrate Cambodian sign language, as well as to reach ethnic minority communities in distant areas.
The 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education and 2022 EduTech Roadmap define several digital literacy competencies students are expected to acquire through formal education, including technical, cognitive, and communication skills required to gather, sort, manage, and present different types of information to different audiences; innovation and entrepreneurship skills; communication and collaboration skills; and the ability to utilise digital systems and the internet for searching, communicating, and sharing information.
The development of digital skills for students is supported through the 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education (with goals to modernize the curriculum to include ICT and 21st century skills), the 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan (supporting ICT-based professional skills courses), and the 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap (supporting digital literacy). The 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education similarly takes the strategic decision to accelerate the implementation of ICT courses for students, aiming for all students attending schools with computers to have received some ICT-based professional skills at school, either as a life-skill in grade 10 or as an optional course in grades 11 and 12 by 2013. The MoEYS also commits to equipping students with knowledge and skills on ICT to transition into 21st century employment and ensuring all students complete formal education with knowledge and skills on ICT to support their further education and professional work in the 2019-23 Education Strategic Plan.
The promotion and development of STEM subjects is included as a strategy in the 2019-23 Education Strategic Plan, which aims to “enhance digital skills and promote the application of knowledge on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for youth in response to the fourth industrial revolution”. Special attention is given to gender, with the government planning on creating interventions and measures to promote and encourage female students to study science, technology and mathematics, such as orientation programmes and career counselling for female students in secondary and higher education. The 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap also supports increasing the proportion of students in upper secondary that are enrolled in STEM courses, raising awareness of STEM careers, and generally strengthening the teaching and learning of STEM subjects, especially for girls. The government also has a dedicated STEM Policy known as the 2016 Policy on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education.
The 2016 Teacher Professional Standards is a competency development and professional skills improvement framework published by the MoEYS which aims to update the capacity of teachers using ICT to meet the demands of the digital age. The Teacher Professional Standards are divided into four components: (i) Professional Knowledge, (ii) Professional Practices, (iii) Professional Study, and (iv) Professional Ethics. Within the framework, teachers must develop comprehensive ICT skills to be appied to teaching and learning, as well as keeping up to date with new techniques. The Teacher Education Provider Standards place emphasis on adequate ICT equipment in teacher training centers, also requiring teachers to be trained in ICT use as part of their pedagogical toolkit. The Competency Standards for Directors of Teacher Training Centers aim to strengthen to leadership and management of pre-service and in-service teacher training institutes by setting certain standards, including ICT training for education staff and reviewing ICT use and integration within each classroom.
The curriculum for Teacher Training Centers has included ICT training for all teachers since 2003, while several policy and strategy documents emphasize the development of teachers’ digital skills. The 2009-13 Master Plan for ICT in Education aims to improve pre-service and in-service ICT training for secondary school teachers, with a goal for all schools with computers to have trained 90% of their upper-secondary school teachers on ICT-based professional skills and 100% of pre-service teachers to have acquired specific ICT-based professional skills by 2013. One of the objectives of the Master Plan is to ensure that all pre-service teacher trainees and a significant number of in-service teachers (especially in upper secondary schools) are not only equipped with ICT literacy but are also trained in the pedagogical principles and appropriate teaching methodologies for using ICT to improve the quality of education. Teachers are also specifically encouraged to integrate ICT in their pedagogy, while ICT is also used to deliver teacher training (including a web-based repository of general educational resources made available to serve teacher training and teaching activities). Similarly, one of the objectives of the 2019-2023 Education Strategic Plan is to review teacher training programs (especially in STEM and ICT), strengthen trainers’ ICT capacity, and improve pre-service teacher training by using ICT I teaching and learning processes, while the 2030 Cambodia Education Roadmap supports the improvement of pre-service and in-service teacher training through the integration of ICT.
The 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education aims to train ICT teachers for all secondary schools and improve teacher training in teacher training centers through the integration of ICT. The 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan also supports activating ICT training programs for ICT subject teachers by contracting with ICT institutions such as universities, ICT training centers, and ICT companies at home and abroad.
New General Schools are highly encouraged to have high rates of teacher proficiency in ICT usage, stating that all teachers should have laptop computers, access to LCD projectors, and be using educational software on a regular basis in their teaching activities. According to the 2019 New Generation School Operational Policy Guidelines, a standardized assessment tool that assessed teachers’ ICT proficiency should be administered by the school each year.
2.4.1. Data privacy
According to the 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education, the MoEYS will promote user privacy and the ethical use of ICT.
Cambodia has not yet enacted any comprehensive data protection legislation, although there are plans for the development of a draft personal data protection law.
In 2021, the government issued a Sub-Decree No. 252 on the management, use, and protection of personal identification data (only available in Khmer here) in order to promote broad policy objections, such as to ensure the protection of peace and order; in furtherance of the public interest; and to promote national development by improving the provision of services. However, the Sub-Decree only applies to 'personal identification data' owned by the Ministry of Interior and does not apply to personal identification data used by other entities.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education states that the MoEYS will promote the ethical use of ICT, preventing all forms of cyberbullying and unsafe use of technology. The 2017-21 Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children aims to reduce violence against children in the home and schools, including cyberbullying as a form of emotional abuse. The 2016 Policy on Child Protection in School and 2019-23 Child Protection in Schools Policy Action Plan aim to prevent all forms of child violence and abuse, create systems for tracking child abuse cases and perpetrators, and mainstream child protection awareness in the school curriculum, plans and policies (without making any specific reference to cyberbullying or online abuse). The 2021 policy on Understanding Social Exclusion in the Cambodian Context and Planning for Inclusive Education prohibits the use of websites which negatively affect student learning, while the 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan aims to execute awareness education and promotion for cybersecurity.
The Draft 2018 Cybercrime Law does not make reference to educational institutions.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) is responsible for leading ICT services in the education sector through the Department of Information Technology (DIT), including ICT teacher training and educational programs. The DIT is responsible for coordinating and providing oversight for all activities that take place within the 2018 Policy and Strategy on ICT in Education regarding ICT procurement, equipment, systems design, and accountability mechanisms.
The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC) promotes ICT infrastructure connectivity across the Kingdom of Cambodia, specifically responsible for expanding effective infrastructure worldwide (including in education services). The MPTC is also responsible for establishing regional and sub-national ICT training centers (including an ICT academy) under the 2020 Cambodian ICT Master Plan.
There is no national prohibition of mobile phone use in classrooms, with schools increasingly setting individual bans.
This profile has been reviewed by Will Brehm and Ith Hunly.