Promotion rates for primary school students are improving rapidly, according to figures released by the Ministry of Education yesterday.
Im Sethy, minister for Education, Youth and Sport, said at the launch of a Save the Children-staffed five-day workshop on early childhood care and development that the 2010-2011 school year had seen a national promotion rate of 96.5 per cent for primary schools despite last year’s floods, which affected 1,360 school buildings.
This marked a jump of about 10 per cent from the previous year’s 88.5 per cent promotion rate for primary schools in urban areas and 83.4 per cent rate in rural areas – figures also released by the ministry yesterday.
“This is a big achievement towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals,” said Im Sethy, adding that the setting up of temporary learning centres during the floods had helped promotion rates.
Cambodia had set the goal of ensuring that all children complete primary schooling by 2010 and nine years of basic schooling by 2015.
Overall, Phnom Penh saw the highest promotion rates for primary and secondary levels in 2009-2010, while Mondulkiri and Oddar Meanchey had the lowest, with those provinces also suffering from the highest drop-out rates.
The lower secondary grades also saw the worst promotion rates compared to primary school and upper secondary grades.
Save the Children country director Andrew Moore said limited access to education and mobility of rural populations were among factors that accounted for the disparity in promotion rates between provinces.
“One problem is where children will migrate for a couple of years to work in rice fields, and miss out on school, which makes it difficult for them to pass exams and get promoted,” he said.