Country

Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia has, over the last decade, enjoyed robust economic growth – GDP is estimated to have grown at approximately 8 percent between 2000 and 2010, and at least at 7 percent since 2011. As such, the government envisions Cambodia entering the realms of lower-middle income country status by 2030 and achieving developed country status by 2050.

Cambodia
source(s): UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14


Main barriers to education

  • Poverty
  • Teacher shortages
  • Lack of schools and classrooms 

Interventions to barriers

  • Enrolement & retention iniatives
  • Leadership capacity building
  • Research & advocacy

Cambodia considers education to be an indispensable component of long-term term peace, security, sustainable development, economic growth and political stability. Though poverty in Cambodia has decreased by 28 percent from 2007-2011 and the net enrolment of girl students reached 97 percent in 2012-2013, an education sector that cultivates the growth, aptitude and ability of each child is yet to be realised. In response to demographic pressures (population growth is thought to be 1.67 percent annually) and the country’s development aspirations, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has opted to invest in pre-school through tertiary and non-formal education. 

Of the issues facing Cambodia’s education sector, access to and quality, as they pertain to the basic primary cycle, figure prominently. Moreover, teacher training and professional development lag and are often cited by the government as essential to a sound education system.

To address the needs of the country’s education sector, EAC has partnered with UNESCO to conduct policy-relevant analysis, advocacy and scale up flexible-learning strategies at the primary level. EAC and Aide et Action have partnered with 17 NGOs that specialise in education to increase access to the OOSC population across Cambodia’s 24 provinces. This initiative will have a programmatic focus on the ten provinces with the highest numbers of OOSC. Also, EAC and United World Schools (UWS) are working together to increase access to quality primary education in Cambodia’s most rural areas. Specific project activities include the cultivation of an enabling physical environment and financial access to education; research and policy advocacy; capacity-building initiatives for School Support Committees and the Commune Councils for Women and Children to lead enrolment campaigns and mapping exercises; and school construction and global education partnerships.  

Geographic Location: Southeast Asia

Languages: Khmer (official)

sources: WORLDBANK, BBC, UNICEF CAMBODIA, UNICEF, UNESCO

Projects

Education For All: An Integrated Approach

The Education for All: An Integrated Approach project involves enrolling and retaining children in primary education in all of Cambodia’s 24 provinces with a focus on the ten provinces with the highest number of out of school children (OOSC) and implemented by a 22-member consortium comprised of an array of development partners.

Southeast Asia School Development Project for OOSC

Across remote rural communities in Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal, access to quality primary education is inhibited for myriad diverse factors. In the Ratanakiri and Stung Treng Provinces of Cambodia, stigmatisation and discrimination against ethnic minority communities have pushed indigenous peoples outside the reach of the public education system. According to UNESCO, Myanmar allocated just 1.6 percent of its GDP to education in 2010, which had been indicative of generations of underinvestment in the country’s education systems. To date, the Myanmar government does not have the capacity or the infrastructure to reach the most remote communities in rural areas. As for Nepal, scant government investment in education and where schools exist, mismanagement, teacher absenteeism, a lack of parental commitment and the high-cost of school fees, coalesce to put education out of bounds for the most disparate members of society.

Strengthening Education System for Out of School Children

The Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and East Timor continue to face challenges in reaching and educating out of school children (OOSC). The EAC-UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education Strengthening Education Systems for Out of School Children project seeks to enrol and retain 50,000 out of school children in quality primary education programs in the sub-region.

Partners

Aide et Action International

EAC has partnered with Aide et Action International in Cambodia to ensure that 57, 372 out of school children in all 24 provinces of Cambodia receive a full course of quality primary education.

UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has partnered with EAC to work toward achieving Millennium Development Goal 2, ensuring universal primary education. As a strategic partner UNESCO works with EAC to advance the agenda of out of school children at an international level. In partnership with EAC, UNESCO also implements projects in ten countries to ensure that out of school children complete a full course of primary education.

United World Schools

Through community consultation and ownership, EAC and United World Schools (UWS) are teaming up to build schools and enrol 33,830 out of school children (OOSC) across Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal.