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Despite gains, development lags

Children in a school classroom in Phnom Penh. A recent UN human development report shows that Cambodia has seen an increase in access to education since 1990.

Between the years of 1990 and 2015, Cambodia saw the region’s highest rate of improvement in the UN’s Human Development Index, a metric that tracks wellbeing, though the country’s overall score remains well below the average for countries in East Asia and the Pacific, a new report from the UN Development Programme shows. The Kingdom has seen improvements in health, education and overall living standards since the index was first measured.

Alternative to TPP shows no sign of activity: analysts

While Prime Minister Hun Sen has publicly expressed his distaste for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was dealt a critical blow by US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the agreement, economists say there has been little visible progress in cementing a rival multilateral free trade agreement that puts China and ASEAN in leading roles.

Villagers issue new calls to solve old land dispute

People watch a community building burn next to a sugar plantation belonging to Thailand’s Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation in Oddar Meanchey after authorities set it ablaze during a 2009 eviction. Photo supplied

Villagers from Oddar Meanchey used a news conference yesterday to appeal for government action to return land at the centre of a years-old dispute with sugar companies. The conflict erupted in 2008, when villagers were forcibly evicted from their land to allow Angkor Sugar, Tonle Sugar Cane, and Cane & Valley Sugar to start operations on economic land concessions in Samroang and Chongkal districts. The evictions led to migrations across the Thai border that still continue to this day, villagers say.

Dropout rates dropped in ’16, Education Ministry says

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron speaks at the ministry’s annual meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

Significantly fewer upper secondary students dropped out of school in 2016 compared to the previous year, but Cambodian education authorities say they still want to halve the rate to improve graduation rates and students’ chances of success in life. Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron reported a fall in the upper secondary – grades 10 through 12 – dropout rate in 2016 to 19.4 percent, from 23.8 percent in 2015, according to the ministry’s annual report.

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