PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, August 21, 2007 - The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia and Cisco® have agreed to train up to 25 teachers in five teacher education institutes (TEIs) in the skills needed to use information and communications technology (ICT) in the classroom.
The initiative is a part of the larger UNESCO Next-Generation (Next Gen) Project, for which Cisco has pledged financial and resource contributions through the Cisco Networking Academy®.
The Next Gen project was begun in recognition of the need for effective programs to prepare pre-service teachers to use ICT to enhance teaching and learning. The project aims to build the capacity of TEIs in the Asia-Pacific region to prepare the next generation of teachers. Ten countries in Asia are taking part in the Next Gen Project: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. In each of these countries, three TEIs are participating in project activities, making a total of 30 participating TEIs.
Under the agreement, Cisco will integrate TEIs into existing Networking Academies that have the know-how to develop the ICT skills of pre-service teachers. Lead trainers from each TEI will attend instructor-training sessions in the Cisco Networking Academy's IT Essentials Software and Hardware and IT Essentials Networking Fundamentals curriculums. Training will be provided by Cisco Networking regional academies in each country over 10 days. Once trained, the instructors will offer the Networking Academy curriculum to pre-service teachers and start a Networking Academy in their TEI.
"A strong ICT education gives our youth the opportunity and access to become participating members in the knowledge-based and globalized world we live in. The joint initiative with Cisco provides us with the footprint for turning this opportunity into a reality in Cambodia. The skills that the TEIs will gain will benefit not only them but also the Cambodian economy as a whole," said Kol Pheng, Cambodia's senior minister and the minister of education, youth and sport.
According to Sandy Walsh, regional manager of the Cisco Networking Academy Program and Corporate Responsibility for Asia Pacific, "The Teacher Education Institutes program allows us to educate the people who are tasked with teaching the next generation of Internet users. The Internet has changed the way people learn, and it enables anytime, anywhere learning for all students, regardless of location, socioeconomic status, gender, or race. Cisco is committed to continuing those advances, partnering with educators and others to develop the tools, applications, technology and curriculums to make the Internet and education the great equalizers in the global economy."
The Next Generation of Teachers Project is guided by the vision of the director of the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, Sheldon Shaeffer, who said: "By 2008, all regional member states will be in a position to offer teachers an education on how and when to best use technologies for teaching and learning, through training that is integrated in all national pre-service teacher training institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. Learners will directly benefit from this new generation of well-educated teachers, who will be empowered to use technologies and to facilitate the learners' active participation in learning, and in the knowledge of societies and economies."