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Education ministry set to reform budgeting practices

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Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron speaking at the annual meeting of the education ministry on April 10. Heng Chivoan

Education ministry set to reform budgeting practices

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron outlined plans for reforms at his ministry, with a focus on institutional capacity building and performance-based budgeting.

Chuon Naron revealed the plans at an annual meeting to review the ministry’s work results in 2022 and set plans for 2023.

“When we appoint officials at all levels, we will now have an assessment of the degree of expertise of those officials in charge of education policy. All departments have to deal with not just the duties ahead, but also the issues for the many sectors involved,” said the minister.

He urged the technical departments and staff at the ministry to focus on these issues in the coming year.

“We have entered a new phase of our reforms: institutional capacity building and performance-based budgeting,” he said.

Hr also emphasised that all units must evaluate their achievements as well as set a direction with clear indicators for success that the ministry can evaluate in order to receive funding from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

He noted that they each would have to negotiate for their own budget, but now from year to year the budget for education is always increasing, while in the past, the leaders of the ministry had a harder time meeting the needs of the various departments.

Veal Park, director and chair of the Education Working Group at UNICEF Cambodia, said that investment in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) system is necessary to ensure that teachers, principals and other support staff have the opportunity to continuously update their capabilities and qualifications to meet the rapidly changing needs of the teaching environment and to have access to opportunities for systematic career advancement with appropriate incentives.

“I understand that the new Teacher Policy Action Plan [TPAP], which is currently in the final stages of development, will outline strong strategies and activities for comprehensive teacher development by 2030,” he said.

Park added that continuing to invest in EGL, especially reading and math at the beginner levels, is still a necessary priority to strengthen learning outcomes as it builds a solid foundation from the start of every child’s learning.

“As clearly demonstrated in the recent grade 6 learning assessment, most Cambodian children continue to face challenges in learning to read and write, as well as basic arithmetic. Forty-five per cent of sixth-graders do not get the minimum passing test result in Khmer and almost three-quarters fail in math,” he said.

According to Chuon Naron, in the 10 years the ministry has been implementing the Strategic Education Plan, the ministry has increased access to education for poor students and disabled students while strengthening the administration of schools, tackling the challenges of Covid-19’s disruption and increasing the number of scholarships for those in need.


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