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Asian Development Bank announces $45M loan for secondary education

People wait to enter a science, technology, engineering and mathematics fair last year in Phnom Penh. Supplied
People wait to enter a science, technology, engineering and mathematics fair last year in Phnom Penh. Supplied

Asian Development Bank announces $45M loan for secondary education

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $45 million loan for Cambodia to overhaul its upper secondary education in order to address the increased demand for skilled workers.

Several measures will be undertaken to reform the sector: math, science and information technology curricula will be reviewed and updated; new Grade-12 student textbooks and teacher guides will be provided for all subjects; the number of teacher housing units will be expanded in areas of high need; upper secondary education facilities will be expanded; and equipment and furniture for 12 resource centres will be purchased, according to a Monday announcement from the bank.

Ministry of Education spokesman Ros Salin didn’t respond to a request for comment as of press time, and representatives with the Asian Development Bank couldn’t be reached.

Chin Chanveasna, executive director for the NGO Education Partnership, said the Ministry of Education will need to work effectively and transparently to carry out such reforms. “If the reforms take too long [to yield results], it may lose confidence from the public,” he said.

However, Chanveasna, who works closely with the ministry, said secondary education was an area ripe for reforms if the Kingdom’s education system hopes to begin graduating more students with higher skills.

“This is the most-needed area where the Ministry of Education would like to fill the gap,” he said.

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