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Licence duties go local

In its own decentralisation efforts, the Ministry of Education has delegated authority over the issuing of licences to pre-schools to provincial- and city-level education departments, Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron said yesterday.

The move, effective as of the start of the year, is meant to make the pre-school monitoring and approval process more efficient, said Naron.

“In the future, when more licences are needed, this will make it easier for schools to apply [for a licence] in their districts,” he said.

Cambodia has roughly 3,700 public pre-schools and 2,500 community schools, which are like private schools but administered by community members. There are also hundreds of purely private schools.

San Chey, of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said that decentralisation will lead to better preschool management, because “the Ministry of Education cannot do it alone”.

But Kao Poeun, executive director of the Khmer Institute for National Development, said that while the idea is sound, local education departments don’t have the capacity to handle the responsibility.

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