The World Bank (WB) on May 30 approved an additional $79 million in financing to expand access to quality educational improvement throughout Cambodia.

The new funding will be used to expand the Cambodia general education improvement project, which was approved in 2022 with initial financing of approximately $69 million.

The new funding includes a $60 million credit from the International Development Association, a WB fund established to help those most in need, and another $19 million in grants from Global Partnership for Education (GPE), according to a May 30 WB statement.

WB representative in Cambodia Maryam Salim said the Kingdom has made great efforts to expand access to education in the last 20 years, but there are still “key challenges” remaining. Student study outcomes are still low and access to quality education is unequal, she added.

“This additional financing reinforces efforts to tackle learning poverty and build the human capital needed for Cambodia’s growth and development,” she said in the statement. 

GPE chief executive officer Laura Frigenti explained that GPE continues to be unwavering in its dedication to Cambodia, working to increase more children’s access to high-quality education, especially those who are most in need. 

“This additional financing provides an opportunity to strengthen the education system and accelerate Cambodia's learning recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said in the statement. 

The WB added that the additional financing will expand the project to educational institutions across Cambodia, including 500 secondary schools, 1,000 primary schools and 90 preschools.

The funding will be used to expand school management, provide professional training and development to teachers, school leaders and staff, and construct and renovate more climate-resilient classrooms, laboratories and school buildings.

Through the financing, new educational technology will be piloted. It is expected that this will increase quality study hours, through modernised textbooks, new teacher guides in line with the national curriculum and the strengthening of planning, monitoring and evaluation.

The project is mainly focused on making it easier for children from disadvantaged families and ethnic minority communities – including those living in remote areas or those living with disabilities – to access quality educational opportunities.