Cambodian Minister of Education Addresses UNESCO’s International Forum on AI and Education

The 2021 International Forum on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Education was organized on 7 and 8 December 2021, under the theme “Ensuring AI as a Common Good to Transform Education”. The Forum was attended by policymakers and practitioners from around the world, with the goal of sharing knowledge on how governance can be aligned to direct AI towards the common good for education and humanity. It also looked at how countries are leveraging AI to deliver the unfulfilled promises and enable the futures of learning.

During her opening remarks, Ms. Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Education highlighted that, “Following the adoption of standard-setting instruments (Recommendation on Ethics of AI), we now have to focus on action and implementation. National regulations on data privacy protection must be developed to implement the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI … But regulations on their own are insufficient to ensure AI as a common good for education and for humanity. All citizens need to be equipped with some level of competency with regard to AI. This includes the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to be “AI literate” – this has become a basic grammar of our century.”

H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of Cambodia, participated in the high-level panel along with other Ministers of education as one of the key speakers. During his intervention, His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron emphasized that “Cambodia will look at the possibility of how AI can be used to improve learning outcomes”. He then elaborated on the following: Firstly, AI promotes personalization and better learning outcomes, access to education, and enhance the collaborative environments and intelligent tutoring systems to support teachers. Secondly, Data analytics in Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) present opportunities for improving the national capacity to manage large-scale educational systems by increasing data from schools and even student level. Thirdly, a new curriculum for a digital and AI empowerment is needed to elaborate further on the importance of advancing in digital competency frameworks for teachers and students. Fourthly, the use of technological device or the generation of data from AI technology is to improve quality of life and services for students and educators through the provision of public services, including health care and education.”

The Forum was co-organized by UNESCO and China with the support of the Inter-UN-Agency Working Group on Artificial Intelligence. It convened approximately 74 speakers including 17 Ministers or Vice Ministers, representatives from UN agencies, other international organizations and more than 40 countries around the world. During the two-day event, the Forum attracted more than 9,000 real-time participants and viewers from more than 100 countries.