Phnom Penh, 16th August 2016: Under the honorable presence of H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Smart Axiata and UNESCO have inked an agreement as official long-term partners to cooperate and implement common projects towards the advancement of quality education in Cambodia.

Beyond its core business as a leading mobile telecommunications provider in Cambodia, Smart’s DNA is largely structured around the CSR pillars of Environment, Community Sports and Education. Therefore, initiatives to give back to national economy, society and nature have been continuous. Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO today is a major milestone between the two parties to reaffirm the commitment and passion they have towards being a key partner of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in developing Education in Cambodia.

The collaboration involves developing and implementing joint programs to strengthen and support ongoing initiatives in the field of local education, especially in the research and development of ICT based education such as E-Learning and M-Learning, promotion of literacy as well as development of digital content for basic education. “Building on our existing partnership, we are combining both our expertise – frontline telecommunications technology and globally recognized education capabilities – to make a difference for the Cambodian community,” said Thomas Hundt, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Axiata.

Anne Lemaistre, Representative of UNESCO in Cambodia said “I am very optimistic of this partnership and the synergies we bring in enhancing educational opportunities for the learners in Cambodia. One of the examples of this is the ICT-based basic education equivalency program, encouraged by His Excellency Minister during the International Youth Day which we are going to initiate from this year. I am sure working together we will identify many synergetic opportunities for promoting effective examples of public-private-partnerships in coming days.”

 

“Our previous and most recent collaboration with UNESCO has enabled 92,000 Cambodians to learn reading and writing through the National Literacy Campaign. Today, we are not only signing the MoU for long-term cooperation, but also celebrating our existing partnership. Lately, discussion on a program to bring female student dropouts back to school have been underway. Collectively, we will do much more; the journey has just begun,” Thomas continued.

Smart and UNESCO’s National Literacy Campaign 2015 was carried out with the full support from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. This initiative was recently recognized by Telecom Asia Awards as the Best Community Project in 2016. Moving forward, the new program to provide learning support to female lower-secondary dropouts is slated for launch soon, amongst many other new education initiatives from this new long-term collaboration between both parties.

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