Literacy learners in Cambodia sit final exams despite COVID-19

Learners of the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP) sit final exams despite the challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic. On 5 March and 5 June 2021, two online final examinations were organized successfully for 108 learners, 37 of whom are females, from Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Koh Kong, Battambang, Tboung Khmum, Takeo and Kampong Chhnang provinces. The learners are lower secondary school dropouts from various backgrounds including migrant workers and those working in informal sector. To meet the needs of the targeted leaners and provide flexibility of the programme, 4 BEEP final exams are planned annually – in March, June, September and December.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT) signed a joint Prakas to officially recognize the equivalency qualifications of the BEEP graduates. Learners who complete the required subjects will receive a certificate which enables them to enroll in skills training either at TVET institutes under MLVT or at general and technical high schools under the MoEYS.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and with additional funding support provided by UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education Programme (CapED), the BEEP platform was customized and opened to the public, especially targeting lower-secondary school students. A total of 122 additional exercise-teaching videos for six subjects (Khmer, English, Mathematics levels 1-2, Physics and Chemistry) were produced and broadcast live on the official social media platforms of MoEYS and BEEP. Over 30,000 students have accessed the BEEP online platform and there are over a million viewers on MoEYS’ social media platforms. The platforms remain open for learners during the “20 February Covid-19 Event”.

Since the opening of the first learning center in 2019, the BEEP has enrolled over 900 learners in 23 learning centers across 13 provinces in Cambodia. Supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and contributions from UNESCO, MoEYS, MLVT and Smart Axiata, the BEEP is entering its expansion phase under United for Decent Employment for Youth in Cambodia​ (DEY Phase-II), which will fund at least the establishment of 35 BEEP learning centers across 15 provinces by 2023.

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