Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government to add new kindergartens

Government to add new kindergartens

People attend the launch of a project in Phnom Penh on September 28, 2016, aimed at providing early childhood education to young children in 137 floating villages.
People attend the launch of a project in Phnom Penh on September 28, 2016, aimed at providing early childhood education to young children in 137 floating villages. Heng Chivoan

Government to add new kindergartens

The Ministry of Education plans to incorporate an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 community-based kindergartens – currently run by commune councils with support from NGOs – into the state public school system to ensure their sustainability, according to a new sub-decree.

The sub-decree, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 29 and approved by the Ministry of Education on January 3, will require community-based kindergartens to meet minimum standards before they are incorporated under the ministry.

The sub-decree is designed to improve the quality, efficiency and sustainability of community-based kindergartens for children aged 3 to 6 years old across the country, according to a copy of the sub-decree. Ministry spokesman Ros Salin declined to comment yesterday.

Chin Chanveasna, executive director of the NGO Education Partnership, said the ministry plans to incorporate around 600, or about 20 percent, of the existing community-based kindergartens this year, and will look to increase the number it incorporates each year going forward.

Funding fluctuations for NGOs can sometimes affect the sustainability of the community-based kindergartens they support, and commune councils may struggle with limited resources, Chanveasna said.

“Even right now, there are some commune councils that have not prioritised education,” he said.

During the 2015-16 school year, the coverage of early childhood education in Cambodia stood at 64.7 percent. However, only 11 percent of children in rural and remote areas have access to such services.

The Ministry of Education plans to reach a goal of having 100 percent enrolment of children aged 5 by 2030, Chanveasna said. It hopes to hit a similar goal for those aged 3 and 4 at a later date.

Romam Sokhon, Soeung commune chief in Ratanakkiri’s Bakeo district, said his commune had four community-based kindergartens. “Three are run by the commune and one of them is run by Plan International,” he said.

Sokhon said he has heard that after the community-based kindergartens are incorporated into the public school system, teachers’ salaries will see a bump, which he said was positive as it would help improve the quality of education.

“For a month, we spend 300,000 riel [about $75] for the salaries of teachers,” he said. “But I’ve heard that [this year], they will spend 600,000 riel.”

Chanveansa said the ministry had yet to reveal a budget for the incorporation of the 600 schools this year, and there was no clear time frame to complete the transition. He added the community-based institutions will likely need to “increase capacity” in order for the ministry to incorporate them.

MOST VIEWED

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol