Approximately 3,000 community-run kindergartens of the 8,000 kindergartens nationwide are set to undergo improvements that will see them elevated to state-run kindergartens.

The upgrades aim to elevate educational standards across the country, as outlined by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

During an August 31 award ceremony at the Provincial Teacher Training College of Siem Reap, education minister Hang Chuon Naron explained that teachers from these community kindergartens would also receive national training and salaries.

This initiative is part of the seventh-mandate government’s ‘pentagonal strategy’, which aims to boost employment, equity, efficiency, and sustainability in foundational education, aligning with Cambodia’s vision for 2050.

The first aspect of this strategy is the development of human resources, which the education ministry deems crucial at all levels.

“Strengthening human resources begins with children, who must pass through kindergarten. They possess the determination to grow and grasp nutrition concepts, and their determination will enable them to complete primary and secondary education, ultimately reaching higher education,” said Chuon Naron.

Kong Samneang, head of the Federation of Education Services in Cambodia, voiced his support for the ministry’s strategy.

“These educational reforms, initially in select provinces, will not only empower primary schools but also expedite educational tasks and foster efficient decision-making at the sub-national level,” he said.

The ministry announced that the enrolment of five-year-olds has surged by 65 per cent, with primary school enrolment rates exceeding 99 per cent.

This signifies that many children now attend school in their age groups. However, some children are still starting school late due to familial economic challenges, or parents or guardians who may not fully understand the importance of kindergarten.

The ministry plans to further enhance the quality of kindergarten education in response to growing student numbers.

Their focus includes fostering the skills needed to establish a solid foundation in reading, writing, mathematics, and science among young learners.