This report that we have made is based on one topic, which is “The Education in Cambodia”. The main reason we choose to make a research on this topic because it shows many problems and we find the methods to solve these problems, and it shows some recent changes from the past of the education system of one country that is Cambodian.
Furthermore, it is also included with what are the specifics situation plus information inside the education in Cambodia.
While researching, our group also had some difficulties on getting the facts and information related to topic. Most of the sources are used from internet of acceptable websites that our group has worked on.
This entire report presents the process of education system in Cambodia. Additionally we are talking about the education issues such as disconnect between students and families, Schools and universities, teachers and Professors, governments, and global issues which responsible for. Eventually, it will be a conclusion and recommendations due to the issues.
II. History of Cambodia Education
Now we start talking about Cambodia’s formal education system is said to go back to the 13th century. You will note when you visit the Angkor Wat temples that central to each temple was a library – a storehouse of knowledge. Education has been revered in Cambodia – a reflection of the Buddhist culture. Traditionally, Cambodian education took place in the pagoda (Buddhist monasteries) and was offered exclusively to the male population. The education involved basic literature, the foundation of religion and skills for daily life like carpentry, artistry, craftwork, constructing, playing instruments, etc. This ‘traditional’ education was gradually changed when Cambodia was a French colony (1853-1963). The French introduced a formal education system influenced by a Western educational model, which was developed through the independence period (1960s), along with the traditional education. During the following civil wars, the education system suffered a chronic crisis and was completely destroyed during the Khmer rouge (1970s). From the early twentieth century until 1975, the system of mass education in Cambodia operated on the French model with the primary schools operating in 2 three year cycles (students would graduate with certificates at each level) before progressing to secondary schools.
During the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979, education was dealt a severe setback, and the great strides made in literacy and in education during the two decades following independence were obliterated systematically. Schools were closed, and educated people and teachers were subjected to, at the least, suspicion and harsh treatment and, at the worst, execution. At the beginning of the 1970s, more than 20,000 teachers lived in Cambodia; only about 5,000 of the teachers remained 10 years later. Soviet sources report that 90 percent of all teachers were killed under the Khmer Rouge regime. Only 50 of the 725 university instructors, 207 of the 2,300 secondary school teachers, and 2,717 of the 21,311 primary school teachers survived. After the Khmer Rouge were driven from power, the educational system had to be re-created from almost nothing. Illiteracy had climbed to more than 40 percent, and most young people under the age of 14 lacked any basic education. Between 1980s and 1990s, education was reconstructed from almost ‘nothing’ and has been gradually developed until now.
Today’s education system is still being rebuilt after the legacy of knowledge and experience was stripped away during the Pol Pot years. Students attend six years of primary school grades 1 to 6, and may attend three years of lower secondary school grades 7 to 9 and three years of upper secondary school – grades 10 to 12. The main focus of the education system, at all levels, is on basic literacy. State schools are under-equipped, and very often classes are run without textbooks or pens and pads for the students. The “chalk and talk” style of teaching predominates.Teachers are not paid well, though this is improving marginally with university graduate teachers being offered higher salaries than their counterparts – but with pay around $US50 to $60 every month two widespread problems have arisen.
The first is bribe taking; with teachers accepting cash gifts in return for additional after school tuition or, worse, “pass grades” in examinations. There’s a blurred ethical boundary between trying to earn enough for a living, versus breaking the professional code of teaching. The second problem is that of skilled teachers “going private” and simply offering tuition for a fee of perhaps $20 per month per student. These teachers may be earning four or more times their state school counterparts, but the effect is to undermine the State system, and also to widen the gap between rich and poor. It is in this context that the promise of free education – actually free, with no gifts, no bribes or fees – is a significant benefit to poor rural families. III. The education issue in Cambodia
IV. The solution and challenges of education in Cambodia On my point of view, the first step in order to renovate our Education System is to solve the corruption problem which is still evolving in our nation. However, we cannot solve this problem in one go. Thus, focusing solely on the Education System should be our main objective. Saying so, the minister of Education should strengthen the management over the education system and see to it that every plan is carried out successfully in all education sectors. Also, the government should participate in this process by eliminating the corruption of the elites as much as possible. Moreover, the government should give more attention the renovation of the education system and find methods to increase the salary for teachers so that they will have enough income to support their living standards. In turn, they can fully focus on educating and fostering they young generations with a free and uncorrupted mind. Plus, there won’t be anymore need to sell papers and grades to students, so we can ensure our slogan of education, ‘Education is free for everyone’ ; also, the only way for students to pass is through their hard work, so the value of our human resources will advance to another level.
Furthermore, the government or the Ministry of Education should arrange a training session for teachers to research, share ideas and discuss about new updates on each subject such as Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. in order to catch up with the ongoing development of the education systems in other countries. Also, the textbooks should be updated yearly as well so that students can get access to new events and ideas as well as other students in the developed countries. In addition, it is very necessary that students can practice the lessons they learn in order that they can be experienced enough to use them at work. Hence, the government or Ministry of Education should find aid from NGOs and other donors for the purpose of installing necessary facilities for students to do their research so that they can prove the theories they learn.
As a result, they will know not only ‘what it is’ but also ‘why and how it is so’. And last but not least, the Government of Cambodia should build more schools so that students do not have to cramp together to study in a class of fifty or sixty, and should also provide enough school supplies such as textbooks and teaching materials which are necessary as well. On the conclusion, Cambodian Education System has everything planned. The only left to do is putting this plan into action and get results. That’s why it is very necessary for the government to act as soon as possible for the sake of Cambodian human resources. These problems are not easy to be solved, but if we are determined and work together, the success will appear sooner or later. And if these problems can be solved successfully in the near possible future, the human resources in our country will be recognized worldwide and Cambodia will not be treated as a minor country any longer. We have to make our nation proud, together!