Khmer Times/Pech Sotheary Wednesday, 22 March 2017 1079 views

Push to increase education, training

A senior government official has urged the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to help children – both those who have never attended school as well as dropouts – get an education or receive training to improve their job prospects and income.
 

The push was made at the opening ceremony of the Education Ministry’s annual review of the 2015-2016 academic year and direction for 2016-2017 at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia in the capital yesterday.
 

Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An, who is also Minister of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection, expressed appreciation for all leaders, Education Ministry officials and relevant parties involved in recent reforms of the education sector.
 

However, to ensure a quality education for all, she urged the ministry to help educate and train dropouts and children never enrolled in school fairly and without discrimination
 

“In this context, education both inside and outside the system is important and should complement each other,” she said.
 

Ms. Sam An also raised other challenges for the ministry to tackle, such as the quality of education and teachers, the teacher-student ratio and consistency between education, training and the labor market.
 

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said that in the 2015-2016 academic year, the dropout rate of students at the primary school level declined to 19.2 percent compared with 21 percent a year earlier.
 

However, at the secondary school level, the dropout rate remains high because of living conditions and economic factors which force many students to quit school and go to work instead.
 

“If we look at trends at the primary school level, dropout rates have decreased. However, at the secondary school level – especially high school – most students go directly to work instead of waiting to graduate,” he said.
 

“It’s a negative point as they have not graduated. But on the other hand, many factories such as garment factories open, and students go straight to work. It’s their choice.
 

“But we want them to be able to continue studying other skills and seek training in order to find a better job and higher income.”
 

According to Mr. Chuon Naron, an Education Ministry campaign was helping more and more children obtain an education.
 

He added that the enrollment rate of children in public and private primary schools is 97.7 percent which is similar to countries in the region.
 

According to the Education Ministry’s 2015-2016 annual report, there are 3,245,947 students – of which 49.3 percent are female – at all public and private schools from kindergarten to the secondary school level.
 

There are 13,876 public and private schools including 4,407 kindergartens, 7,461 primary schools, 1,300 secondary schools and 608 high schools.

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