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Motorbikes for rural schools

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The European Union presented 121 motorbikes to Education Departments in six different provinces on Tuesday, as part of an initiative to improve the quality of rural primary school education.

Ou Mom/Phnom Penh Post
Education Department officials in Beanteay Meanchey province check out the motorcyles presented by the EU Ambassador.

The motorbikes will be used by Education Department officials in each district to visit and monitor primary schools in their departments, and to encourage enrollment in local schools, according to officials.

“Transportation is really important for children in rural areas,” said Jean-François Cautain, EU Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, while on a visit to Beanteay Meanchey province to present the motorbikes.

“We need it to work and make it easy in order to reach our development goals,” he said.

The six provinces included in the initiative are Banteay Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Kampot, Ratanakkiri, Pailin and Mondulkiri provinces.

The motorbikes will be distributed among the various districts in each province.  

“I am concerned with children dropping out of school at alarming rates,” said the Ambassador in a discussion with civic organizations.

The occasion marked the first time the European official has visited the provinces since beginning his position three months ago.

Jean-François Cautain said the initiative was a cooperation between the EU and the Royal Government of Cambodia.

“We hope it is a part of the development sector in Education,” he said.

“Our goal is to ensure that children around the country go to school in any circumstance,” said Im Sithy, an official at the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports.

“We have not fully met our goal of reaching children in these areas to make sure that  they attend school. We will use this gift to reach these children and help them as soon as possible,” he said.

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