Radio-based program helps multilingual students in Cambodia continue learning despite school closures

Re-post from: GPE

Phnom Penh, April 8, 2021 – Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and UNICEF are working together to ensure the continuation of learning for all children, especially the most disadvantaged and marginalized, while schools are closed amidst the current COVID-19 community outbreak.

UNICEF has procured 1,640 radios that will be delivered to indigenous ethnic minority students in the North Eastern provinces of Kratie, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. These students are learning through MoEYS’ multilingual education (MLE) radio-based program, just one of the distance learning modalities MoEYS introduced in the early days of the pandemic.

His Excellency Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodia’s Minister of Education Youth and Sport, said, “During these challenging times, I am pleased that MoEYS is able to partner with UNICEF and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to deliver much needed distance learning opportunities for children engaged in multilingual education. For the multi-lingual radio program to be truly impactful, it is important that parents support their children to continue to learn using this valuable service.”

The MLE radio program provides radio lessons for pre and primary school multilingual students in the Kroeng and Tumpoun languages in Ratanakiri province and in the Phnorng language in Mondulkiri province. An estimated 1,527 students from 79 primary schools who don’t currently own a radio will receive one, bringing lessons right into their home.

In addition, 34 community preschool MLE teachers and 70 primary school MLE teachers will receive a radio for their teaching purposes to be used in the classroom or during distance teaching and learning activities. The radios will be delivered in early April.

“UNICEF is proud to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Global Partnership for Education in delivering this MLE radio program, which is reaching some of the most vulnerable children in Cambodia and helping them to continue to learn. The provision of radios to children will enable the reach of the program to be significantly extended, which is very important during this time when schools are closed. This is an important initiative, which is helping to address the issue of learning losses due to the impact of COVID19”, said Foroogh Foyouzat, Representative, UNICEF Cambodia.

“Even brief interruptions in education can have devastating consequences on children’s learning and wellbeing,” said Alice Albright, GPE’s Chief Executive Officer“These GPE funds will help Cambodia ensure that no child’s education is left behind because of COVID-19.”

The MLE radio program is being delivered through Cambodia’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts with funding assistance from GPE. UNICEF is the grant agent for this $7 million program, which is delivering emergency support to schools and students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note to Editors: 


UNICEF in Cambodia works to promote the healthy development of children, to defend their rights and help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood to adolescence.
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About the Global Partnership for Education

GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. It is the only global partnership and fund dedicated entirely to helping children in lower-income countries get a quality education, so they can unlock their potential and contribute to building a better world.

With nearly 20 years’ experience helping partner countries to get more girls and boys in school and learning, GPE convenes teachers, civil society, donors, United Nations agencies, development banks, businesses and philanthropists behind partner country leadership to finance and support solutions so that no child is left behind.

Reap Song, an indigenous teacher in her house, is listening to the radio program to prepare study plan for her next visit to her student’s home.
Credit: UNICEF Cambodia/2020/Youra Soeum
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