The Open Institute is a non-governmental and not-for-profit Cambodian organization that envisions Cambodia as a country in which widespread access to high-quality education, information, communications, and technology lead to a more developed and just society. Our mission is to help improve the results of early-grade education in Cambodia, and to ensure that high-quality learning materials are accessible to all Cambodian school students.

Open Institute was created in 2006 to undertake the project of standardizing the way the Khmer language was used in computers. After accomplishing this goal, it continued to work on ICT for Development and on the use of Khmer in Computers for the following decade. In 2017 it started to shift its mission from technology to education, making the development and dissemination of teaching and learning materials for early-grade education (grades 1 to 3) its main reason for existence.

Our Last Three Years of Work

From 2019 to 2022 Open Institute, has collaborated with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and the UNESCO/STEPCam programme to radically change the methodology used to teach Maths in grades 1 to 3 of Cambodian public schools. We have led the development of the new activity-based MoEYS Teaching and Learning Materials Packages for the Maths subject, including teacher guides, exercise books, and workbooks for home use. Our team has also developed animation videos briefly reviewing each piece of content in these three grades, and teaching how to do each exercise in the workbooks for home work (Happy Maths video collection). The workbooks now include QR codes in each exercise, linking directly the exercise to the video that teaches how to do it, as well as to the theory behind the exercise. We have also supported the Ministry in the deployment of these materials to all teachers in five provinces. To ensure that all newly-trained teachers acquire the right attitude to teach using an activity-based methodology, and learn how to use these packages, Open Institute - in collaboration with the Teacher Training Department and UNESCO - has adapted the Maths Methodology curriculum in all Teacher Training Institutions to include and teach the newly created Maths packages, and have then trained all Teacher Educators on how it this new curriculum should be delivered.

Open Institute has also worked on general improvement of the pedagogical capacity of Primary School Teacher Educators, who are in charge of training all Primary School teachers. The work, supported by UNESCO, was done through an extended "blended" modality training on pedagogy delivered in each one of the Primary School Teacher Training centers in the country. The course equipped Teacher Educators with a stronger base in Pedagogy through repeated practice and reflection, and a clear understanding of activity-based pedagogy. The course helped them develop a peer-partnership system for Continuous Professional Development, allowing them to continue collaborating among themselves to improve their teaching skills

Open Institute has collaborated since 2007 with the MoEYS Department of Information Technology. During all this time we have led the work in the development of ICT in Education policies, participated in teacher and Ministry staff training, written the ICT-subject curricula for upper secondary school, and written the official textbooks. We have also developed different applications to facilitate school inspection and to help schools develop strategic plans. During 2021 and 2022, supported by UNICEF, we worked with them to ensure easy access by parents and students to over 8,000 pieces of digital learning materials (classroom videos, Maths animation videos, worksheets, workbooks, etc.) developed by MoEYS and partners, and which students can use at home to complement their education.

One of our core beliefs is that - in order to succeed in education - children need support from their parents. As parents did not have any reference materials which they could use to help their children, Open Institute decided to use its energy and know-how to create materials that parents could use in order to provide this support. In particular, Open Institute started a collection of workbooks that - under the name of Koun Sva Chhlat (Clever Little Monkey) - provides parents a tool to guide the practice that their children need to do every day at home. During these years Open Institute has so far developed 33 workbooks that include Khmer Writing Practice and all the Maths workbooks developed together with UNESCO, also covering basic learning in preschool. These workbooks - developed together with MoEY - and accepted as part of its core resources for learning how to write Khmer and for maths in grades 1 to 3, are fully aligned with the program, textbooks, and teacher guides, providing the exact practice that students need to do at home. Even if the parents are not familiar with the content children need to learn, or with the way of teaching it, KounSvaChhlat workbooks (and the linked videos through QR codes) allow them to help their children. The books can either be downloaded from the Internet and printed, or bought at bookstores at a very low price. In 2021, in response to Covid-19, UNICEF printed and distributed these workbooks to all grade 1 and grade 2 children in Cambodia (more than 750.000 children). In 2022 they have distributed books to children in 14 provinces. Open Institute continues developing new titles, hoping to be able to support - in the near future - the first three years for Khmer and all of Primary education for Maths.

2023

Our present work focuses on the main opportunities to improve the Cambodian education system that we have detected over the last three years.

  • We continue to work on the improvement of the preparation of early-grade teachers, now focusing on contract teachers, teachers who are hired by MoEYS to cover vacant positions that cannot be covered by the number of teachers who graduate each year from the Teacher Training Institutions. Teacher retirement and the needs of new schools outpace the production of trained teachers in these institutions. Contract teachers normally have no or little training, and they serve some of the most remote schools in the country. Providing some training to them has become a priority for MoEYS, and therefore for us.
  • We also work to improve the teaching and learning materials that have already been produced by MoEYS for early-grade learning; while we have already created videos and inserted QR codes in the workbooks for Maths, the same work needs to be done on materials for learning Khmer language, to facilitate parent support also in this key subject.
  • We continue to work on technological support for education. In particular, we are working to offer all early-grade teachers the Teacher Guides and other materials through electronic means that facilitate their work. In this line, we are working on a Telegram bot that will serve to teachers the specific materials that they need in order to teach the specific page of the textbook that they have to teach in a given day.
  • We will also be working on new KounSvaChhlat workbooks for Khmer grade 2.
  • We will advance on our work to create a URL redirection system that provides the necessary resilience to the use of QR Codes in teaching and learning materials

News

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 17:29
PRESS RELEASE                                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               Friday December 1, 2017Cambodian Internet-Based Employment Solution Wins ASEAN AwardThe 2017 ASEAN ICT Awards recognized Bong Pheak, a USAID-funded employment service for low-skilled workers, as the year’s most important technology-for-development initiative in ASEAN, on November 30, 2017. Winners were selected by a panel of regional business and innovation specialists. Bong Pheak is an internet-based employment service for unskilled factory, construction, and hospitality work... Read more
Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 15:56
  Workshop Introduction to typeface design Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 4 to 7 December 2017 A workshop of the First Regional Conference on OCR and Natural Language Processing (ONA2017) Content:This workshop will take participants through the initial stages of developing a digital font with an emphasis on practical exercises. Activities will include experimenting with writing tools, thinking about the different functions of type, developing a personal brief and getting a clear direction for your typeface, digitizing and drawing letterforms with software, plenty of group critique, individual help and... Read more
Friday, December 16, 2016 - 10:48
For the fourth consecutive year, Open Institute has completed its research on the use of Mobile Phones and Internet Use in Cambodia. This 2016 study reports important changes that have taken place during the last year regarding communication devices that Cambodians use, how Cambodians consume information, how technology penetration is changing reading and writing habits, and how Cambodian society is quickly moving towards new forms of communication. Data collected in September 2016 by interviewing 2061 participants aged between 15 and 65 years olds across Cambodia shows that over 96% of Cambod... Read more
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 08:58
  Press Release National Conference on gender equality within the new development agenda to take place On 11 and 12 February 2016  Under the funding support of UN Women Cambodia and organized by Open Institute, the conference on “Engendering the Sustainable Development Goals:  Making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Work for Cambodian Women and Girls” will discuss gender equality within the new development agenda. The conference will contribute to the localization of the SDG’s, with a particular emphasis on goal number 5: a transformative stand-alone goal that addresses structural ba... Read more

Events

Monday, July 21, 2014 - 11:17
BarCamp Kampong Cham 2014, is a free and open social event that bring together IT professionals, innovators, businesses, NGOs and students under their own agenda to network, create synergies and catch up the state-of-the-art of technology. It has taken place on this Saturday 19 and Sunday 20, July 2014, which attracts 457 participants include 149 female participants from different universities, high schools, NGOs and private sectors.At BarCamp Kampong Cham participants decide their own agenda including tech innovations, entrepreneurship, e-commerce, and what they want to hear about. The agenda... Read more
Monday, July 14, 2014 - 17:43
Panelist at the seminar on Promoting Transparency through Increased Access to Information at Sunway Hotel.Date: 3 July, 2014 Photo by Open Institute The seminar on “Promoting Transparency through Increased Access to Information” was held on 3rd July 2014 at Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh. The purpose of this seminar was to promote the critical use of ICT to achieve information transparency and to encourage citizen's to be active participants in the use of and dissemination of information. Those in attendance included representatives of the Youth, Commune Councilors, Non-Government Organizations, and... Read more
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 15:58
This week, a roadshow for the training campaigns on Internet and Mobile Telephony and Mobile installation campaigns at 9 high schools for students in grade 11 & 12 and promotion campaigns at nearby phone shops. The campaigns will take place in 45 high schools in 18 different provinces that will show a 35-minutes educational video on understanding about the correct way of using Internet, trustworthiness information and what should be avoid to post. After this, students will discuss on 6 different case stories related to privacy, trustworthiness information, blackmail story, believes, hassra... Read more
Friday, April 4, 2014 - 08:54
Citizen Journalist and Information Communication Technology training was conducted at Governance Resource Learning Center, Ministry of Interior for three days between 04 -06 March, 2014. The purpose of the training was to build the awareness of Commune council members and target youth in the use of computers with Khmer language and to have the ability to use  Internet   tools for researching, writing, sharing and discussing information openly and effectively This would help participants understand media ethics, law and policy. The participants were councilors from both municipalities and provi... Read more

Others

  • Internship Opportunity - Research Interns on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 12:15
  • The main responsibility of the Project Officer on Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 15:49
  • Short Term Job Opportunity on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 09:45
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