Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron is applauding the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding between MetFone and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport that will see 1 million students, teachers and officials receive free Internet access over the next 5 years.
The MoU is an example of a partnership between the public and private sectors that benefits both sides as well as Cambodia’s development, H.E. Hang Chuon Naron said during the MoU signing ceremony at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Tuesday afternoon. Minister Naron and other officials stressed that the partnership will help them continue to implement wide-ranging reforms to the education system by streamlining communication between officials, teachers, students and parents nationwide.
The partnership with MetFone will also allow the Ministry to offer more courses and study materials online, which will expand learning opportunities for students. “Students will no longer be limited to courses offered in classrooms,” Mr. Naron said, explaining that his Ministry is expanding online education and teacher training in collaboration with MetFone.
MetFone vice general director Nhong Dinthan said the $5 million project expands beyond the first MoU to covermore public schools, teacher training institutes, universities and Ministry offices for five years. Each will be fully equipped with broadband Internet access.
The MoU is part of MetFone’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. One pillar of the pillars of this pioneering program is supporting the government’s efforts to expand and strengthen the education system.
“At MetFone we see CSR as part of the DNA of our business model,” Mr. Nhong said. “Our CSR efforts are investments in Cambodia’s future and this is why MetFone places such immense importance on supporting education. Our future as a company depends on Cambodia’s development so we are doing everything we can to ensure the next generation has access to the tools that make development successful and inclusive,” he explained. “Besides supporting the development of the Ministry’s information and communication technology capacity we also provide scholarships to students nationwide.”
Mr. Naron noted that MetFone has become the leading mobile operator in Cambodia, with a more than 50 percent share of the market.
Mr. Nhong explained that this is the result of the company’s efforts to ensure that all Cambodians have access to its network. Access to mobile networks was, for the most part, confined to cities and provincial capitals when MetFone entered Cambodia in 2009. “We swiftly expanded our network to every district in the Kingdom to ensure that every Cambodian had the opportunity to be connected,” Mr. Nhong said. MetFone has done the same with its super-fast 4G LTE network as well as broadband Internet, company executives said.
Minister Naron described the new MoU with MetFone’s as a “win-win partnership.” Ministry officials said they hope more companies will follow MetFone’s lead by strategically investing in the communities they serve. “Partnerships like these benefit everyone,” Mr. Naron said. “We would like to see more of them.”