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Group mounts campaign to keep children in school

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The survey showed children and young people who drop out of school did not successfully learn online while schools were closed. Heng Chivoan

Group mounts campaign to keep children in school

The Child and Youth Network in Cambodia launched a “back to school” campaign on Wednesday to seek support to ensure children return to classes and do not drop out of school.

The group found that 97 per cent of 239 children surveyed in 15 provinces and towns were severely affected in their daily lives by the Covid-19 crisis, while 48 per cent reported their lives had been changed dramatically by staying home.

A joint press release issued by the Child Advocate Network, Adolescent and Youth Reference Group (AYRG) and Cambodia Children and Young People Movement for Child Rights (CCYMCR) said the campaign seeks support from policymakers to keep children in school.

Child and Youth Network leader Hour Bopha told The Post on Wednesday that the survey showed children and young people who dropped out of school did not successfully learn online while schools were closed.

“We want them back in school following the hygiene guidelines of the relevant ministries. We do not want to see the dropout rate rise,” Bopha said.

He said learning from home had many consequences, including families ordering children to work, which didn’t allow them to study regularly.

Deputy team leader Thun Piti said the network will continue to meet with relevant ministries and departments to discuss the issues.

Piti said seeing the challenges faced by children dropping out during the Covid-19 crisis, the network wants their voices heard and hardships revealed to find a solution.

The campaign was broadcast live on Facebook on the pages of Child and Youth Network, World Vision International Cambodia, Plan International, Save the Children, CRC Cambodia, Terres des Hommes Asia, SOS Children Village Cambodia and ChildFund.

Ministry of Education spokesman Ros Soveacha said on Wednesday that the Ministry welcomes positive feedback and cooperation that contributes to education, youth and sports reforms.

“The Ministry of Education has received guidelines from the government to operate schools across the country through three phases. By continuing to prioritise the quality of education while participating in the management, protection and prevention of the spread of Covid-19,” Soveacha said.

He said 20 schools with high safety standards opened last month. The opening of some public schools and some private schools in the second phase began on Monday.

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