In this sixth mandate, the Royal Government of Cambodia has set out the Rectangular Strategy Phase 4, making human resources development a top priority.
To attain the education sector’s five-year achievements, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS ) launched the “Education, Youth and Sport Reform Strategy 2018-2023”, giving priority to seven points:
• Paying close attention to teaching;
• Expanding the scope of schools at all levels;
• Strengthening accountability in school management;
• Promoting technical education in high schools;
• Providing skills in line with the labour market;
• Developing comprehensive curricula and textbooks;
• Preparing for the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
This article focuses on the Education, Youth and Sport Reform Strategy and the five-year achievements in the education sector (2018-2022).
The Education, Youth and Sport Reform Strategy 2018-2023 has as its vision the development of human resources with the best qualities and virtues in all areas to build a prosperous Cambodian society based on knowledge and basic skills.
The Reform Strategy aims to lead, manage and develop the Cambodian education, youth and sport sector in response to the needs of the Kingdom’s economic, social, cultural development, as well as its regional and global development.
MoEYS has set out four reform strategies for education, youth and sport – in education management, in higher education, in youth development, as well as in physical education and sport development.
Education management reform strategy focuses on four points:
• Learning management reform, which focuses on regularly assessing students’ learning, improving teaching methods and incorporating quality citizenship into the curriculum and textbooks.
• Administrative reform focuses on ensuring the involvement of parents, students and the local community, the implementation of school management and the implementation of education policies and strategic plans.
• Financial management reform focuses on increasing autonomy and financial accountability in schools, conducting regular audits of education budgets, and increasing budget allocations linked to education policies and programmes.
• Human resource management reform focuses on training, focusing on teaching methods and on-the-spot training programmes, improving teacher training, and conducting performance appraisals on educators.
Higher education reform strategies focus on five points:
• Examining the feasibility of transforming public higher education institutions into administrative public higher education institutions;
• Providing autonomy to public higher education institutions in financial and human resource management;
• Developing curriculum frameworks in response to Industry 4.0;
• Promoting research and encouraging the establishment of advanced research centres in public higher education institutions;
• Evaluating the quality of internal education and the quality of education in higher education institutions.
Based on these strategies, the Ministry of Education has attained many remarkable achievements in the education sector over the past five years.
As of the academic year 2021-2022, there are 18,430 kindergartens and general education schools, both public and private, and 130 higher education institutions nationwide.
MoEYS has constructed 427 school buildings, and renovated 395, across a number of provinces, and built new infrastructure such as laboratories, libraries, dormitories and computer rooms equipped with solar panels, student and teacher accommodation, toilets, wells, concrete roads, fencing, basketball courts, football pitches and sports fields.
As of April 4, 2022, the construction of school buildings, gifted by Prime Minister Hun Sen and
First Lady Bun Rany, totals 4,487 buildings, equal to 28,810 rooms.
In reforming the education sector, the Ministry of Education has continued to focus on key priorities such as expanding early childhood education services, increasing primary school and upper secondary school enrolment, and expanding the scope of multilingual education to indigenous children.
It has also promoted digital education, digital economy, entrepreneurship, launched distance learning and e-learning during the Covid-19 crisis, as well as provided scholarships to 262,163 students living in poverty.
In line with the education management reform strategy, MoEYS has been strengthening school-based management, establishing 10 New Generation Schools and training teachers in constructive teaching methods, research methods and collaborative learning, as well as the use of information technology in teaching and learning.
It has organised and equipped science laboratories and computer rooms, subject rooms, teachers’ rooms, 21st century libraries and first-aid rooms, as well as introduced life skills and STEM education, career and youth councils, and study clubs for mathematics, Khmer literature, physics, chemistry, biology, journalism, information technology and history.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is being promoted in response to the labour market, alongside advancing early grade reading and mathematics, technical education, life skills education and career counselling, as well as the value of the teaching profession through teacher training at pedagogical institutes across the Kingdom.
MoEYS in the education sector reform mechanism in Cambodia has consistently implemented the Education, Youth and Sport Reform Strategy 2018-2023, as well as actively cooperated with development partners in establishing projects and activities to promote and develop all types of education and provide funding to support all activities.
Over the past five years, the Ministry of Education has shown the achievements of all sub-sectors, particularly the education sector, under the mechanism of the Education, Youth and Sport Reform Strategy 2018-2023.
The reform strategy could also be a roadmap for filling gaps or as next year’s direction for the development of education in Cambodia.