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Real estate and schools go hand in hand

Tyler Lebens / Share:

It’s the first questions parents ask when they buy a new house: What are the schools like here?

As Phnom Penh expands and diversifies people are looking for more quiet residential communities where they can settle with their families. They want the convenience and opportunities the city provides but with the quiet and comfort of a suburb.

School quality is a major factor for families who are choosing a place to live. Indeed, we are seeing that learning institutions are increasing in Sen Sok and Toul Kork districts, two flourishing residential areas.

For the most part, schools in Phnom Penh fall into one of three main categories:

Public schools

Private and international schools

Chinese schools

First off, public schools are responsible for educating the majority of the children in Cambodia. However, these schools often suffer from extremely low funding as well as lack of resources and infrastructure.

As of 2017, Cambodia sat near the bottom part of the global list for public education funding. That year, the Kingdom spent just 2.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education. That figure sits in contrast to neighbouring Vietnam which spent around 7% of its GDP on education in 2017.

Because of this lack of funding, many families in Cambodia opt for private schools as soon as they can afford to do so. Often children will attend two schools simultaneously, their local public school as well as a nearby private institution.

Private and international schools

These type of schools make up a huge part of education in Phnom Penh. Many offer mixed curriculums and some focus on English-language education. These schools can offer programs starting at nursery age all the way up through high school.

The term “international school” is thrown out liberally here. However, there are a few schools that are certified International Baccalaureate (IB) institutions.

Tuition fees for private schools range from as low as $300 per year to over $20,000.

Also falling in this category are Phnom Penh’s numerous private universities.

Peng Ponna, assistant dean and lecturer of Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality of Pannasastra University of Cambodia, said education in the capital is expanding in all directs. More schools are opening up, he said, and existing schools are expanding programs to include internships, extracurriculars and study tours.

“Education is improving in the Kingdom. In the hospitality program alone we have over 400 students enrolled. The numbers are growing every year.”

Chinese schools

Despite not being as prevalent as English-based education, there are many Chinese schools in Phnom Penh. Mixed families or Cambodians of Chinese descent are the main demographic represented at these schools. Often these schools prepare students for careers in business or other paths that favour Chinese language skills.

It’s no secret that Chinese-backed businesses are currently flourishing in Cambodia. Because of that, we could see more and more Chinese schools popping up in coming years.

Go to Realestate.com.kh’s guide page to read the complete guide to schools in Phnom Penh. It gives the location, tuition fees and a summary of more than 50 of the top schools in the city.

Tyler Lebens is a Content [email protected]

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