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Ministry and NGOs hold learning summit to assess back to school initiatives

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Save the Children and CARE International in Cambodia, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and UNICEF, jointly organised an online Evidence and Learning Summit for the Communication for Education project. SUPPLIED

Ministry and NGOs hold learning summit to assess back to school initiatives

Save the Children and CARE International in Cambodia, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and UNICEF, jointly organised an online Evidence and Learning Summit for the Communication for Education project.

The purpose of the summit is to share the achievements and best practices for supporting the re-enrolment, continuous learning and safe return to schools students following the nationwide school closures of 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19.

According to a joint press release on December 17 in only one year of implementation the project’s interventions have demonstrated successful experiences and shown evidence regarding the use of communication for education to ensure children’s learning continuity during the school closures, as well as supporting the re-enrolment and safe return to school when schools reopened.

The press release said that one of the most promising practices the evaluation found was the provision of scholarships to vulnerable children: 600 students in Koh Kong, Kampong Chhnang and Stung Treng received study materials such as notebooks, pencils, bags, and rulers.

“One of the best practices identified by the external evaluation in supporting children’s continued learning was the use of a range of flexible, contextually relevant and adaptive strategies,” the press release said. “Depending on factors such as, internet connectivity, access to devices or phones, distance of students from schools, or the literacy levels of parents and caregivers, the project employed a different strategy.”

Save the Children country representative Elizabeth Pearce said the multi-stakeholder partnership was the catalyst to generating these achievements

“The partnership clearly demonstrates the significant roles each of us can play in promoting children’s continuous learning during the pandemic,” she added.

CARE Cambodia representative Sovattha Neou said she was pleased to see similar confirmations echoed by other stakeholders and that the project was to engage all of the key actors including local authorities, parents, teachers and school directors to bring children back to school in their communities

“We leveraged the local insight that the parents most listen to the school management committees and they also got involved in the back to school campaign. Now the parents understand the impact of education and they have changed their behavior, by supporting their children going back to school,” she added.

The press release said the project supported the education ministry in the process of re-opening schools following the nationwide closures related to Covid-19. It said the project was meant to reach the most vulnerable families and their children to ensure their continuity of learning during any disruptions.

The press release said the project was implemented in the provinces of Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Stung Treng, Kampong Chhnang and Koh Kong, where it covered 1,185 village schools in 37 different districts.

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