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Cambodian Schools To Teach Financial Literacy

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Financial literacy as a school subject to increase students’ knowledge about money will be introduced nationwide through the first phase of the Cambodian School Curriculum Project, with the Ministry of Education collaborating with the National Bank of CambodiaAsian Development Bank, Good Return and the World Education Cambodia.

Financial literacy will be introduced to students in primary schools. KHMER TIMES / CHOR SOKUNTHEA

NBC director general Chea Serey said yesterday that the first step in the project would be developing a national curriculum for schools to teach the subject and added that the central bank and the ministry, together with all stakeholders would work together to develop it.

“Young people today face more challenging financial choices given the rapid socio-economic transformation that the country is undergoing. They need the skills, training and tools to make the right decisions affecting their financial well-being, and also that of their families,” Serey told a technical workshop on education organised by the ministry.

Serey said that the inclusion of financial literacy as a school subject was in the government’s Financial Development Strategy 2016-2025. “The NBC and the Ministry of Education have established a Financial Literacy Working Group, with the support from Good Return, World Education Cambodia and the Asian Development Bank to review the existing formal education curriculum for students in public schools and identify specific areas where financial education could be included,” she added.

“Financial literacy performance is strongly correlated with performance in mathematics and reading.  Students should be helped to make the most of what they learn in subjects taught in compulsory education, which could also be complemented with more specific financial literacy content.”

Mok Sarom, deputy director general of the directorate general of education at the Ministry of Education, said the ministry welcomed the collaboration between the NBC, ADB, Good Return and World Education Cambodia to include financial literacy in the national school curriculum.

“Financial literacy will help young people manage their finances. Young people are now more likely to encounter situations where they need to set their spending priorities, be aware of new types of fraud, know that some items that they want to buy will incur ongoing costs,” he said. “We need them to be financially savvy at a young age and for that reason, we will be starting to teach financial literacy at the primary school level,” he added.

Hiroyuki Aoki, the financial sector specialist at ADB’s Southeast Asia department, said that financial education could be viewed as a capacity-building process over an individual’s lifetime, which results in improved financial literacy and well-being.

“There are significant potential gains to be realised by including financial literacy in the national school curriculum and we will focus on the inclusive financing of the Cambodian School Curriculum Project to promote the subject in schools nationwide,” said Aoki.

posted Apr 29 by Phirum

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I’m often asked, “What value does Virtual Reality (VR) bring to education?”

To which I typically reply, “Equity.” While most, including my immediate peers, usually squint and ask, “How so?” there is currently a myriad of VR experiences that can bring equity to education where no other tool has been able to.

Research completed at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, led by Professor Sean Reardon, largely addressed the inequities in education that challenge students daily.

“The socioeconomic profile of a district is a powerful predictor of the average test score performance of students in that district,” said Reardon. “Nonetheless, poverty is not destiny: There are districts with similarly low-income student populations where academic performance is higher than others. We can—and should—learn from such places to guide community and school improvement efforts in other communities.”

So, how can VR bring equity to education?

Regarding virtual reality in education, most educators have heard of Google Expeditions by now. At just over three years old, Google Expeditions has paved the way for immersive education in schools. Using mobile VR technology, three degrees of freedom (3DOF), students are guided through a virtual tour. The tour includes teacher resources in the form of discussion points, and the ability for the teacher to control what the students are seeing while the students still have control over the angle and direction of their focus in the 360, VR virtual field trip.

Is this low tech? Sort of. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t such a huge fan of “virtual field trips” initially. It wasn’t because I’m a hater, it was because I was narrow-minded and enthusiastic about all of the other amazing immersive VR experiences coming out.

However, earlier this year, I had the pleasure of watching a recording of Jeremy Bailenson speaking about his book, Experience on Demand (which is amazing, by the way). He stated four reasons why we should use VR and those were:

  1. It’s impossible
  2. It’s counterproductive
  3. It’s expensive/rare
  4. It’s dangerous

It immediately clicked for me. Depending on the situation, Virtual Reality can add tremendous value and even provide equity where there once was none.

When does VR provide benefits for students?

Say, for example, in your situation, which includes cost and proximity, you have easy access to go to the zoo. In this case, a virtual field trip might not be a worthy use case for VR. Instead, you can physically take a field trip to the zoo. If your situation is such that it’s cost prohibitive, far, etc., then a virtual field trip to a zoo is a worthwhile experience.

Generally speaking, access to a zoo falls largely into the category of funding. If a school felt there was value in taking students to a zoo and money was no object, they could fly a class to their zoo of choice. If the research that Reardon conducted is true, then this lack of funding results in a lack of experiences for students and would likely translate into lower test scores within that school.

What about the impossible?

It’s not possible for us to revisit World War II and speak to Holocaust victims. Yes, there are museums, and there are still some schools who have access to survivors that visit and share their first-hand accounts. But this invaluable experience isn’t something that every school has access to. Programs like New Dimensions in Testimony (NDT) exist to archive and bring Holocaust survivor testimony to people, most importantly schools. This brings equity by creating this experience.

Lastly, explaining the benefits of the counterproductive.

I love the idea of bringing the best of the best to everyone, anywhere, anytime. Programs like Engage and Rumii offer educator-focused collaborative VR learning environments. Imagine a lecture hall where all of the participants and the presenter are in VR. Think back to “Ready Player One,” a futuristic novel set in 2045, where nearly everyone constantly lives in VR. In the book, there is a planet within VR called Ludus, where all of the schools are located.

In the book, Ernest Cline describes in detail what the educational system on Ludus looks like. He describes a flexible and customizable learning environment, one that I think could bring equity to learning, whether you’re connecting from an affluent or impoverished neighbourhood. He describes that teachers can instantly take students on interactive virtual field trips, which provide high levels of immersion translating into a better understanding of the subject.

The counterproductive involves learning a powerful lesson that you wouldn’t want to do out in the real world. For example, seeing the effects climate change up close, or learning about the mistakes of the past by seeing them unfold in front of you. From the example of “Ready Player One,” we can also imagine that students had access to visit historical events in high fidelity and full immersion. Imagine too, the ppossibilityof constructing new outcomes with “artificially intelligent virtual interaction,” an experience that would place you in a historic place and time. You could interact with and examine how different choices might have changed the outcome of history.

Hopefully, you can see why I’m so excited for Virtual Reality in Education.

Dropping into VR provides a real world, immersive experience that links key critical core senses together. When hearing, sight, and touch are linked, the subconscious mind cannot distinguish the experience as fake and thus strong memories are created. This ability to create memories from experiences that are typically impossible is the power that VR yields. So with VR experiences like NDT, virtual field trips to zoos, and collaborative learning environments like Engage and Rumii, we can bring equitable experiences to education that could ultimately provide not just higher test scores, but increased opportunity, knowledge, and most importantly, an inspiration to all students.

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Constant changes in the educational system and other areas related to education always cause discussions around this topic. It is obvious, that changes turn positive only if they lead to development and improvement in the educational environment while other changes don’t bring any benefit. That’s why, when speaking about teaching methods, we can hear a lot of critical comments about variations in types of teaching. Nevertheless, we may also hear some supporting arguments. So, what arguments seem to be stronger – about traditional or innovative methods of teaching?

Traditional Vs. Innovative Teaching Methods

Traditional and Innovative Teaching – What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between the traditional lecture and the innovative one? New approaches to teaching are supposed to change the specifics of students’ involvement in the learning process from passive to active type. Surprisingly, this difference is not the only one. For example, before, lectures were formalized – professors used to deliver a lecture and students used to write down the most important things from what they have a heart. Recently some innovations came through, lectures became more interactive so that students and professors organized their work via cooperation in the learning process.

Game-based learning – fact or fiction?

One of the most famous for using up-to-date approaches to arranging educational process is Q2L (Quest to learn) school in NY. Its curriculum is based on game-based learning – it’s a very outstanding and productive way of organizing the studying process. That’s why students in this school show significant results in their learning activities. Children always study better if they have an interest in the subject.

A new vision of lectures and professors’ creativity

Today we live in the media age and this markedly affects us and our lifestyle. It also makes a great impact on the teaching process as well. Students take a new look at lectures as an optional way to expand an informational basis and gain some new knowledge, but not as the general one. However, students need professors to teach them how to interpret what they have already learned and explain how to gain new knowledge. In traditional teaching professors usually were spending most of their time and efforts for delivering information to students instead of using their creativity, which is a more efficient way of cooperation.

Top-3 Innovations in Teaching Process

Of course, professors do their work and share information with students, but professors’ guidance is not the only way to find the most relevant information and get knowledge nowadays, as there are some innovations in the teaching process:

  • Educational Video Influences Better Memorizing. Educational video stimulates students to pay more attention during classes and enhance their learning abilities. Besides that, some lectures in Universities and Colleges contain learning games (not only computer games) which are much more interesting than listening to the professor. This style of learning successfully enhances students’ motivation due to the strong connection between visual contact and better memorizing. Furthermore, watching videos helps students to create associations that help them remember learning material.
  • Social Media Simplify Cooperation with Educators. With the appearance of the Internet and media age, most schools, colleges, and universities started to renew teaching methods. Social media allow students, parents, and teachers to keep in touch and inform each other about assignments or events. Using such technologies, students can do more exercises for self-learning and save their time;
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction Makes Individual Study Possible. This technology allows teachers to help individual students who have some difficulties during their study. This can be a great extension for the traditional schoolhouse. Using computer-assisted instruction helps improve students’ skills and solve study-related problems in a group. This is a convenient tool for individual study. Besides that, computer-assisted instruction includes some programs for writing and studying certain subjects.

Innovative Vs. Traditional Teaching: who wins?

Some would say that any innovations in the traditional teaching system are unnecessary as they may distract students from what they really should do during their studies. Surely, this thesis can be considered as truth. But still, we live in a world of rapidly growing technologies and constant changes, so why the educational process should remain unchangeable, with no opportunity of self-education, game-based learning and all of those new arrangements? The answer is obvious. The modern educational system needs renewing in methods, usage and understanding the concept of up-to-date education, that should always correspond to the needs of our generation.

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