Lack of Electricity Hampers Teachers’ Lessons

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.


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