Education is very important means to train and build up human resources for development of each country and it is also important for development of child as person. However, educational system in Cambodia has suffered too much during Khmer Rouge Regime from 1975 to 1979. After that period, the government has tried to improve it by cooperated and collaborated with external aid and non-governmental organization (NGOs). According to the Cambodian constitution, it states that “the state shall provide free primary and secondary education to all citizens in public school. Citizens shall receive education for at least nine years”. Nowadays, though the pupils have no pay the fee, they still have to spend money on other things such as stationery, textbooks, contribution fee etc. Moreover, some provinces students are asked to spent money to teacher for fee; this is the problem that prevent pupil from poor families from attending school.
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About a half a million Cambodian children from 6 to 11 years old have no access to school, then 50percent of those who entered grade one dropped out of school and had to repeat the class. Those problems are caused by video games, karaoke and the presence of brothel for the students in city, and for female pupils, they could not attend school because of many problems. First, parents are poor, so they cannot provide children to learn and sometime they need their children, especially the girls, to earn money to support the family. Second, the schools are located too far away from their house. Only boy can go to school at some distance from home because they have given accommodation in pagodas near the school. The last one is some parents do not understand about the important of education, so they do not allow their children to attend school.
Moreover, the ministry of education has not provided adequate education for minority children. Many children cannot access to school, and there is no provision for schooling in minority languages except for classes provided by private ethic associations. Not only that, there is insufficient special education provision for disabilities children. Even though some organizations co-operated with government to provide school for those, this effort is not yet enough. Then, the quality of education in Cambodia is very poor. Some schools in urban areas have around 60 to 80 students in each class, because there are not enough class for pupils, most schools operated two shifts or three shifts per a day that affect the pupils’ feeling to study . Other thing is that the limited skilled of teachers reduce the quality of educational system. Technical and pedagogical training for teacher is not up to standard yet. There are many teaching methods such as child-centered learning method has been taught to some teachers; however, teachers still follow the old teaching methods. The last point is the lack of commitment of teacher because they receive a small amount of salary (about $15 to $20 per month) that lead to the low motivation for teaching. Then, they need to find others job to supplement their incomes for survival. In fact, the national government budget allocation to Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport was only 10.3% in 1997 and increase to 12% in 1998, which is still very, in particular when compared to 52% for the defense sector.
The government should pay more attention because this sector is the major sector for development the country. Government should provide the high salary to teachers, and build more school all around the country, and national budget allocation for education should be increased promote and facilitate the education to minority children and provide special school for disabled children and promote education for girls, raise awareness of parents about the advantage of education. Finally, the educational system in Cambodia has faced many problems that have to solve immediately. Those problems can be affected on development for country as well.
Because of that, the government needs to collaborate or cooperate with international organizations. United Nations Organization is an international organization that aim are facilitating collaboration in international law, international peace and security, human right, economics development, social progress and achieving world peace. United Nations has many specialized agencies to operating the problems of member states. Those including UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, FAO and UNESCOâ€¦.and so on. However, we only focus on three specialized agencies because these agencies are very important for development in developing countries.
First, UNDP is the UN global development network. It promotes for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people to build a better life. The specialized agency has countries offices in 166 countries, where it works with local government to meet development challenges and develop local capacity. UNDP administrator is the third highest ranking official of United Nations after the United Nations Secretary-general and Deputy Secretary-general, and its headquartered is in New York. UNDP is funded by voluntary contribution from member states. UNDP helps the countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG is adopted by United Nations General Assembly to develop the poor countries in 2002. These priority MDGs countries are concentrated is Sub- African, Central America and Andes, Central Asia, and the part of Southeast Asia. Millennium Development Goals is related to poverty, primary education, gender equity, maternal health, child mortality, HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases, environmental sustainability and global partnerships for development.
Second, UNICEF was created by United Nations General assembly on December 11, 1946 to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been destroyed by World War II. UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and development assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. UNICEF support child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, access to clean water and sanitation and the protection of children from violence, exploitation and AIDs. In 1953, UNICEF became United Nations System and its name had shortened from United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and its headquartered is in New York City. UNICEF fund is provided by voluntary contribution of government, businesses, foundations and individuals.
Third, UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations which established on 16 November 1945. Headquarter of organization is in Paris, with over 50 field offices and many specialized institutes and based in throughout the world. Its objectives is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international cooperation through education, culture, and science in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights along with fundamental freedoms declared in the Charter of UN. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social sciences, culture, and communication and information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical assistance, and teacher-training programs, science programs, the promotion of independent media and press freedom, regional and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity; international cooperation agreements to save the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to protect human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
UNESCO in Cambodia has worked through with the local authority and NGOs. UNESCO focused on its activities through five major agendas such as education, culture, natural sciences, social and human sciences, and information and communication. First, in education, UNESCO has developed the policy and strategies for ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education), introducing global level policy trend and innovative practices, and contributing to draft the policy on ECCE by providing advisory services. Moreover, UNESCO has improved on teacher education by providing policy framework and policy choices for developing teacher professional standards and appropriate measurement, designing incentives to motivate the teachers for better teaching and student learning, deploying qualified teachers to rural and remote areas. Then, UNSECO has focused on technical vocational education and training, HIV/AIDs prevention education, and education and planning management. As the chairs of educational sector working group, UNESCO has played an important role in facilitating well coordinated and professional response from the donor community to the demands of the education development and the request from government. The main partner in education of UNESCO is Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS). UNESCO assists MoEYS for the formulation and establishment of national education framework and policy to outreach broader populations. A number of education policy are formulated with technical support from UNESCO and other development partners including: National Non- Formal Education Policy, the National Plan of Action for Non- Formal Education, the policy on School Health and policy on Education for Children with Disabilities, and National ICT (Information and Communication for Technology) policy and strategy.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the international development goal which focus on eight problems such as eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDs and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development. However, in Cambodia, because of recognizing the major constraint to development is the continued contamination of mines and explosive remnants of war, the Royal Government of Cambodia added the de-mining and victims assistance as the ninth major development goal. Then, on the topic of the second goal of CMDGs, it is mention about Achieve Universal Nine-year basic Education that took root of the Education for all by ensure that all children will complete primary schooling by 2010 and Nine-year basic schooling by 2015.
UNICEF in Cambodia has provided de-worming tablet to 95 percent of children in primary school. Moreover, UNICEF has supported the financial assistance for the salary of community preschool teacher in order to improve the preschool to all children. According government’s statistics, the pre-primary school enrollment rate of Cambodian’s five year old in school year 2006-2007 was 27.7% including state, community, home-based, and preschool classes. Then, Cambodian government and UNICEF official maintain that early childhood development program have proved over and over that preschool encourages on time enrollment in primary school and improve academic performance.
In sum up, those organizations are important for improving or promoting the all sector in Cambodia, especially in educational sector which is important sector for development. However, the government should contribute to promoting as well, so our country will achieve all goals early.
Since you focused on the roles and frameworks of MDGs, UNICEF, UNESCO, you have known that those frameworks are suitable for improving the education in Cambodia. However, do these agencies and government can promise that they will improve or promote education well as they expect?
According to the statistic from reports, the primary school projects have been complete successfully. In 2000, there are around 85% to 86% of children from urban area can attend school, and for the children in rural area, there are approximately 82% to 83% go to school, but the children living in the remote area can attend school only 60% to 63%. From one year to year, the numbers of attending school from those three areas are increasing gradually. In fact, in 2009, in remote area the children attend school about 90.3%. Surprisingly, the urban children which had the figure higher than others do not increasing dramatically as the rural area in 2000. Rural area’s children go to school much more than the urban area’s children, is 95% and 92.2%. Nevertheless, projects to promoting the secondary school is seem failed because the target of project predicted that about 65.3% in 2009 for the children attending secondary school, but in reality, there are only 31.9 for students attending school. By the way, gender disparities in primary school have been eliminated and regional disparities have also been eradicated. Then, the proportion of 6-14 years old out of school is stagnating. Based on the data from CMDGs, the flow of the line of graph is smooth from 1997 until 2003, but in 2004 the figures of the data is increasing from 18.7% to 19.81%. Nonetheless, the expected target is only 14.4% in 2008 for the out of school students, so it seems not go beyond as expectation. Literacy rates of 15 to 24 years old; therefore, in 1998 there is around 82%of literacy. CMDGs expected that in 2009, there would be about 92.1% for literacy, but in actual, there is around 87.47% for literacy because the line of the graph was increasing slowly.
In sum up, education in Cambodia become better than before. Even so, those agencies need to improve or promote more because as you known, the education is the important sector for develop country. Then, in case education in Cambodia does not good, how could Cambodia improve or develop country well?
After you have understood about the roles and frameworks, effect of the agencies, you can say that though they could not achieve all goals as setting, but they could improve or promote the education in Cambodia. As you can see, educational system in Cambodia has suffered too much during Khmer Rouge Regime from 1975 to 1979. After that period, the government has tried to improve it by cooperated and collaborated with external aid and non-governmental organization (NGOs). About a half a million Cambodian children from 6 to 11 years old have no access to school, then 50% of those who entered grade one dropped out of school and had to repeat the class. Those problems are caused by video games, karaoke and the presence of brothel for the students in city, and for female pupils, they could not attend school because of many problems.
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Due to these problems, the Cambodian government tries to pay attention on education systems because as mentioned before, education is very important means to train and build up human resources for development of each country and it is also important for development of child as person. If Cambodian people poor at the knowledge, how could Cambodia has been developed to become the strong country as the neighboring countries. Moreover, the IOs (International organizations) also pay attention on education sector as well. They try to encourage and collaborate with Cambodian government to improving the education systems. As mentioned, According to the Cambodian constitution, it states that “the state shall provide free primary and secondary education to all citizens in public school. Citizens shall receive education for at least nine years”. Then, IOs have also contributed to improvement as well.
First, UNESCO has improved on teacher education by providing policy framework and policy choices for developing teacher professional standards and appropriate measurement, designing incentives to motivate the teachers for better teaching and student learning, deploying qualified teachers to rural and remote areas. Moreover, UNESCO has played an important role in facilitating well coordinated and professional response from the donor community to the demands of the education development and the request from government. Second, CDMGs is mention about Achieve Universal Nine-year basic Education that took root of the Education for all by ensures that all children will complete primary schooling by 2010 and Nine-year basic schooling by 2015. Third, UNICEF has supported the financial assistance for the salary of community preschool teacher in order to improve the preschool to all children. According government’s statistics, the pre-primary school enrollment rate of Cambodian’s five year old in school year 2006-2007 was 27.7% including state, community, home-based, and preschool classes. Then, Cambodian government and UNICEF official preserve that early childhood development program have proved over and over that preschool encourages on time enrollment in primary school and improve academic performance.
In conclusion, some problems the state could not deal with by herself, so she needs the assistance from NGOs, IGOs, and so on. However, in case the states do not pay attention with those problems, the solution still cannot meet. As Cambodia, because the government and specialized agencies try to cooperate each other, the education system seem improve a little by a little. In my opinion, in future, Cambodia will decrease the rate of illiteracy from time to time.
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