On the opening day of the new school year, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hang Chuon Naron announced that funding for schools had been increased, in order to allow them to implement wide-ranging reforms.

Public schools nationwide began the new school year on January 2.

Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said the opening of the new school year had taken place as planned, with no issues being reported.

Chuon Naron encouraged staff and management at all levels to continue the excellent work that had seen the safe and successful end of the 2021-2022 school year.

He added that in order to support school reform, the government – through the Ministry of Economy and Finance – has been steadily increasing funding for schools each year.

“In 2023, I encourage all schools to focus on improving quality, accountability and transparency while leading and managing schools. They should lead, teach and manage students efficiently, while encouraging the participation of parents and guardians, communities and local authorities in the development of schools,” he continued.

Chuon Naron said that from 2023 onward, the education ministry has laid out an 8-point priority plan which aims to affect a common education transformation.

The plan highlights the safe reopening of schools and the recovery of student learning, the development of teacher’s professional capacities, digital education and STEM learning, while also recommending closer ties with centres of higher education.

In an open letter marking the new school year, Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed to all students and youths to apply themselves to their studies. They should carry out deeds that would support the growth of their families, communities and the nation, and should avoid drugs and other vices.

The prime minister urged the ministry to continue its implementation of digital education polices, saying this may be key to Cambodia’s future responses to ongoing developments in employment, business and education, within national, regional and global contexts.

While addressing a January 2 groundbreaking ceremony for a new bridge which will span the Mekong, the prime minister said: “Thanks to the success of the Kingdom’s Covid-19 management strategies, I am very pleased to announce that the Kingdom’s children were able to start the first day of school for the year. I ask that all authorities remain mindful of the situation.”

He added that the school year traditionally began in October but had been delayed due to disruptions brought about by the pandemic.