Why is it important to support the education sector in Cambodia?
According to Cambodia's constitution, all Cambodians are entitled to 9-years of basic education. However, few Cambodians complete the basic education. The obstacles include low levels of student attendance in rural areas, underpaid teachers and shortage of qualified teachers. The resources in the schools are inadequate and the large number of students results in cramped school premises. Travel time to school is also long for many children.
The quality of education in Cambodia is low. The lack of relevant training and the low quality of education is a major barrier to sustainable economic growth. Access to basic and higher education is crucial to young people's development opportunities and to poverty reduction in general in Cambodia.
Sweden's support and results
Sweden has since the 1980s supported programs aiming to increase access to quality primary education for poor children. Sweden has been one of the largest donors, and played a major role in the education sector in Cambodia. The support has been channeled through UNICEF, among others, to support Cambodia's educational plan. The program supported by Sweden has been successful and the number of children enrolled in primary school has increased steadily. However, many challenges remain, regarding quality and the amount of children completing the education.
What we do now and what we plan to do
In Sweden’s current cooperation strategy with Cambodia, Sweden has decided to continue and expand the support in the educational sector to include secondary school and higher education. Equal access to education, between men and women and between children from different backgrounds, is given high priority. Furthermore initiatives to promote cooperation and exchanges between the education system and the private business sector are taken, in order to enhance youth employment opportunities.
• UNICEF Inclusive Education Support
The Inclusive Education Support programme aims at reducing inequalities in access to quality education, enable the most vulnerable groups of children to attend school and also to ensure that a growing number of pupils, girls as well as boys complete basic education. The programme consists of four components:
- Inclusive education.
- Policy dialog and coordination.
- Strengthening demand for education services through use of multimedia.
- UNICEF technical support.
The timeframe for this support is 2014-2016 with a total budget of 30 000 000 SEK.
• Capacity Development Partnership Fund (CDPF)
The CDPF is a multi-donor fund aimed at supporting the implementation of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports sector-wide, rolling Capacity development Plan 2011-2013. The CDPF is financed by the EU, Sweden and UNICEF. The overall objective of CDPF is to contribute to the government´s implantation of the Education Strategic Plan (ESP).
The timeframe for this support to phase I is 2011-2015 with a total budget of 21 000 000 SEK.
The timeframe for phase II is 2015-2017 with a total budget of 30 000 000 SEK.
• Education Quality Assurance Programme
The goal of the programme is to build a system for quality assurance with the aim of increasing the student´s achievement by improving the quality of learning. The system should contribute to the implementation of Education Law, curriculum and other policy documents and report back results, trends and development needs to the government. The system should also be clear to all levels in the education system and available resources shall be used effectively.
The timeframe for this support is 2013-2015 with a total budget of 13 500 000 SEK.
• Education Program Support (School Improvement Grant – SIG)
The support consists of a programme based support to pre-schools, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools in Cambodia. The support is provided in the form School Improvements Grants (SIG) for the school operational activities. The expected results of the contribution are:
- Expanded access to education services;
- Improved completion rates;
- Improved capacity for school management.
The timeframe for this support is 2013-2016 with a total budget of 155 000 000 SEK.
• Skills Development & Employment for Youth in Cambodia
This support is built around a collaboration between the Swedish Public Employment Service and its Cambodian equivalent, the National Employment Agency. The overall objective is to contribute to a well-functioning labour market and to support skills development and employment for youth in Cambodia. The support is centred around the following results-areas:
- Coordination and support to the implementation of the National Youth Strategy and the program plan 2012-2015.
- Strengthening and further developing the National Employment Agency
- Actions to support skills development and entrepreneurship for youth in rural areas
The timeframe for this support is 2013-2016 with a total budget of 12 942 000 SEK.
• Academy of Culinary Arts of Cambodia (ACAC) - Vocational Training
The overall objective of ACAC is to contribute to skills development and employment opportunities for Cambodian youth by establishing an international standard school that will meet the ASEAN Minimum Competency Standard for Tourism as well as the Swiss Standards for culinary education and in a broader sense help to deduce the discrepancy between the supply and demand side on the Cambodian labour market.
The timeframe for this support is 2015-2018 with a total budget of 17 500 000 SEK.