Mondulkiri Students Learn About Digital Literacy

Hundreds of Mondulkiri students, including those from indigenous backgrounds, attended a three-day workshop to learn about digital literacy and the importance of staying safe online
Mondulkiri students attend a three-day workshop to learn about digital literacy. Kiripost/Yatt Malai
Mondulkiri students attend a three-day workshop to learn about digital literacy. Kiripost/Yatt Malai

MONDULKIRI PROVINCE - Hundreds of high school students, including those from indigenous backgrounds, in Mondulkiri province learned about digital literacy, including fact-checking and being secure online, at a workshop.

The objective of the workshop was to educate 300 high school students about the foundation and value of essential digital literacy, as well as provide them with the information needed to use digital learning tools and, most significantly, to stay safe on the internet.​

There were several sessions held during the three-day workshop. Topics included cyberspace, how to check fact news on the internet, how to set a strong password, how to create a Google account, and using tools in Google, including Google form, Google drive and canvas.

The workshops also explored how to use Telegram, Facebook, and Tiktok effectively, especially the two-step verification, and how to prevent themselves from online risks. At the same time, students were able to take good and qualified pictures and create a video after they finish training.

Chek Lim, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), told Kiripost, “In my personal view digital literacy in Cambodia is very significant in today’s situation and context towards technology around the world.”

Lim said MoEYS has worked to enhance the quality and ability in education filed under the sustainable visions and clear direction of the Cambodian government. In the last few years, the population has grown to almost 17 million, and smartphones are prevalent in society, and that is how Cambodians understand the core value of digital.

“We can call them digital natives because they were born and grew up in a technological context, especially the movement of ethnic groups here. They are really passionate about education,” he said.

He added that the workshop has taken place for the last four years in four provinces to train, teach and orient youths about digital risks when they do not know how to use it responsibly and safely.

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Lim noticed that when he arrived in Mondulkiri, he felt surprised when he saw that it was more modern and developed than before, including digital tools to facilitate the workshops, with both equipment and internet access being good.

“Students there are very active, and they understand how to use digital, especially they know some apps that he never knew before. So, I would encourage other organisations to come here to see the development,” he added.

Mao Sros, Deputy Director of MoEYS in Mondulkiri province, said that digital literacy should be prioritised in educational institutions as digital platforms can help youth acquire critical-thinking abilities as technology evolves.

Until now, Mondulkiri has not hosted many workshops or training sessions because of several reasons. Firstly, people may think there is a lack of water and electricity, while others believe it is hard to travel there due to it being a mountainous area. Lim said another factor may be that people think it is hard to find food there.

“Now, we have all types of equipment to support and facilitate the training process so I would encourage people to come here to support us. We need more training and cooperation to support student's growth,” he said.

Smart Axiata was one of the sponsors of the workshop. Tao Socheata, Senior Cooperation Social Development and Sustainability Specialist at Smart Axiata, said that the digital transformation in Cambodia is developing fast and as the country tries to move the international economic status, digital literacy is crucial.

“Regarding our objective, we are working on education development, including digital literacy, with high school students. We chose Mondulkiri province for this workshop because it’s part of efforts to strengthen capacity among students, especially ethnic groups who are living here,” she said.

She said that skill development should be inclusive between geographies so that no one is left behind. Mondulkiri is quite far from the capital and there are also different ethnic groups, she said.

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She added that students were active with trainers and that she did not expect to see such strong involvement or that students were brave enough to ask and answer questions.

Ethnic Bunong, Put Panha, is in Grade 11 at Mondulkiri High School. He said that digital literacy is necessary for youth, especially bringing digital literacy to Mondulkiri. She believes this will help them to understand and learn more about the positive and negative impacts of internet access on social media.

“Successful media literacy and participatory media projects are utilised to analyse present mainstream media stereotypes and discuss potential options for media and ethnic stereotyping study, so I would call for more workshops or training about media in Mondulkiri because it is a chance to push youth to be more knowledgeable,” she said.

Men Khemara, another Bunong ethnic, said, “I am so happy to have a chance to attend this workshop. I will take it as an opportunity to learn more and share my knowledge with people who live in my community.”

Chantha Srey Nou, a Cham ethnic, added, “I had a concern during the workshop because I have a problem with food. I cannot eat pork, and I feel differently from others.”

However, after participating in the training, she was so confident to learn because she had never joined a workshop before. She believed it would provide her with a good opportunity to learn how to use digital effectively and in the right way.


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