The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training have announced the launch of a curriculum for students who have dropped out of school as part of the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP).

Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post on March 24 the curriculum was designed to provide an opportunity to school dropouts to complete an education equivalent to Grade 9.

He said this will allow them to pursue their studies at technical training and vocational institutions or by attending general and technical high school.

“The education and labour ministries have seen the success of this programme undertaken in collaboration with UNESCO and that is why we wish to promote the curriculum developed for drop-out students,” he said.

In 2020, BEEP was operating in 21 study centres in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Siem Reap, Battambang, Koh Kong, Kandal, Tbong Khmum, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Thom provinces.

An additional 10 study centres were also operated by the education ministry.

In 2020, the study centres served 718 students who had dropped out of school prior to enrolling in the BEEP programme along with 131 students who were enrolled in the centres under the supervision of the education ministry.

In the first quarter of this year, 109 drop-out students had resumed their education through the BEEP programme. Four exams were taken by 42 students, with 38 of them passing. Ten of those students are now planning to enrol at the JVC technical college.

The announcement also noted that Cambodia had been successful in promoting primary school education, resulting in a 92 per cent rate of enrolment.

However, dropping out of school was still a common problem around grades 7, 8 and 9 which has the effect of reducing the graduation rate for secondary school to just 45 per cent.

Sao Vanna, executive director of the Kampuchean Action for Primary Education, said: “This education programme is part of a national policy that aims to ensure that all citizens have access to basic education.

“It provides opportunities for youths who have dropped out of school to be able to pursue their education and graduate at a basic level. The goal is to prepare them for additional vocational training through the institutions of the labour ministry.”