Cambodia’s first confirmed case of Covid-19 occurred in late January. With a second case in early March in Siem Reap Province, home of the renowned temples of Angkor Wat, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS), in an abundance of caution, closed the schools until further notice.
Education in Cambodia ground to a halt, or so one might have imagined, but the MoEYS quickly found creative ways to promote learning outside the traditional school setting. The ministry worked with private companies to launch a new e-learning initiative. Lessons for students in grades one through 12 were prerecorded and offered online through the ministry’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and e-learning website.
With schools closed, the responsibility for teaching has now shifted from teachers to families. While the online lessons from the MoEYS are vital to keep kids on track during this enforced hiatus, they are not enough: nurturing children’s creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking is just as important as academic lesson plans. The new routines are stressful for both children and parents, but sheltering at home can also be an ideal time to help kids develop positive learning habits.