Most schools could not comply with a Ministry of Education push to have teachers conduct weekly sessions on information technology and communication because they lacked electricity, according to a ministry report released Monday.
Only 13 percent of 698 high schools nationwide had access to electricity, with 8 percent supplied by generators and another 4 percent using solar energy, according to the Ministry of Education report, titled “Policy and Strategy in Using Technology, Information and Communication in Cambodia’s Education Sector.”
Seventy percent of high schools have never received electricity of any kind, the report said.
Chea Se, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Education, said the majority of schools in remote areas cannot access electricity because there is not enough power to meet the country’s demands.
“The demand for electricity is very large,” he said. “We can not produce enough electricity to supply nationwide,” he said.
The ministry began its push in 2003 to improve information technology and communication in the education sector as a means of encouraging computer and Internet use at schools.
The report stated that only 6 percent of primary schools and 35 percent of high schools have computers, and that most are used in the administrative offices.
Only eight public high schools have more than 10 computers.
Seng Theary, a teacher at Tonle Bet secondary school in Kompong Cham province, said the lack of electricity in her school has made it difficult for her to teach.
“We teach in darkness, particularly in the afternoon because the sunshine can not provide enough light,” she said.
The report also showed that for the 2002-2003 school year, only 20 percent of students were enrolled in high school, the lowest rate among Asean countries.