Education System in Cambodia - An Overview
The Education System in modern Cambodia has progressed slowly. Cambodia established its first High School in the year 1930. As the country regained its freedom from France, the Government of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, paid attention and made several reforms in the field of Education during 1950s and 1960s. Schools providing Elementary and Secondary Education were established in different parts of the country. Morever, several Universities, Institutes of Higher Education, Vocational and Technical Training institutes were also established. But unfortunately, after the civil war and the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, all the efforts made by earlier government in the field of education came to an end.
It was estimated that by the end of the Khmer Rouge time, between 75 and 80 percent of Cambodian educators were either killed, died of overwork, or left the country. At least half of the written material available in the Khmer language was destroyed.
In 1979, as PRK Government came into power with help from Vietnam, Education system had started flourishing up. The PRK Government made significant improvements by offering Education at various levels. Beginning from Elementary School to Higher University level Education, several reforms were being carried out. In this period Cambodian students were also offered scholarships from neighboring countries. However, there was shortage of resources as the Government was involved in civil war. Hence, some limitations were put on the number of enrolments in Elementary Schools and Universities. Following this, significant changes were made in Cambodian Education System following Paris Agreement and UN sponsored elections in 1990s. Many new schools were established, the percentage of national budget for education increased, reaching 7.7 percent in 2000 and 15.67 percent in 2001 (GAD/C 2002). Many new Private Schools were built in Cambodia especially at the Secondary and Higher Education levels.
Now, providing Education at all levels right from Primary schooling to University, is the responsibility of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The ministry is responsible for providing adequate infrastructure and resources to Government Schools and Universities, and also administering the institutions.