Education System of Cambodia

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Posted by: | Posted on: November 19, 2016

How Cambodia government invest in human capital?


Courtesy: NotEnoughGood

Courtesy: NotEnoughGood

National capitals to build a country are categorized by different perspectives but human capital, social capital, natural capital, and cash flow capital, have been broadly discussed by researchers and academics. Hence, human capital has been viewed as the most important means leading to sustainable development.

But Cambodia has been criticized on its lacking of political will to develop “human capital”.

History Snapshot:

The aura of cold war devastated Cambodia in all fields, and human capital which is one of the essential backbones of this nation has been nationwide ruined. Socially, the social bonding and trust have been disintegrated. Natural resources have been plundered by the elites. Educational system has significantly been raised up from zero spot to some level of political propaganda. The theory of the more learned persons teach the less learned persons are pervasively implemented. School infrastructures are not sufficient to the need of viable schooling environment. Curriculum is not up to date. Teaching pedagogy and teachers’ salary are not an incentive to produce human resource at all.

The Continuing Lie of Young Bamboo Seeds are future of Old Bamboos:

This saying is very popular in Cambodia among other national proverbs. But after the cold war, no one has ever thought of or had political will to put it into action. Cambodian children who are considered the young bamboo seeds have continually been exploited and spoiled to the core. The teaching of respecting and preserving tradition and culture have been indulgent to degrade other qualities of students such as social competency and emotional maturity. These downgrading are at the verge of severe students’ vulnerability. In Western education systems, children starting from kindergarten have been vastly taken care to ensure they grow up with citizenship ability and responsibility. Schools are central of students’ transformation than pacification in among those countries.

As I observed, a pre-school education system operating in Canada at a provincial schools level, a research finding found 1 in 3 of B.C. children start school vulnerable in one or more areas that are critical to their healthy development. As I have always participated in Parents Council Meeting of school that my kid is learning with, the debate on children nutrients are not in the agenda because with developed countries, children have been taken care very well in providing sufficient nutrients for their mental and physical growth.

Cambodia is in contrast, as major families are living with dire poverty, the diets for children are plainly dominantly rice with less or none nutritious food. Lacking hygiene is also a big causes of disease and abnormal growth of children. As these nutrients and hygiene are basic need for children to healthily grow up has not been prioritized by the government, other factors of education development are remained speechless. Thus, political influence has been pervasively undermining children growth within schools compounds. Beside of attempting to influence professionalism and independence to conduct proper teaching profession of the teachers, the pressure of their not-make-end-meet salary is one of the obstacles politics has taken over the growth of children.

From now on, Cambodian children should be taken care and infused following indicators to ensure they are truly young bamboo seeds for old bamboos:

  • Emotional maturity (ភាពចាស់ចិត្តចាស់គំនិត): students-centered pedagogy and allowing more space for children to play and learn from their own intuitive is better than to having teacher keep eyes on them as well as lead them in all time. Good teachers will teach students to seek knowledge by themselves by facilitating road-map for them. Schools of early childhood learning is exactly a playground. Children love to play, and they are grown up from such plays.
  •  Social competence(សមត្ថភាពសង្គម): working as a team is imperative to imply in this real world, not a dream world. Cambodian schools are good in helping students to walk alone into the uncertainty of their future. Many times, this model has failed students to incorporate with others in achieving common goals, and conflicts as well as violence has always happened in Cambodian society because of lacking team-building. Many world’s important days and holidays of the nation, are good in calendar and students are likely forced to memorize them. But in developed countries, pre-school students, kindergarten to grade 5, are involving with those days by different classroom activities such as drawing, visualizing, photo-copying, imagining, analyzing, and school tripping to those sites etc. It it normal to hearing students take turn to speak on microphone about the daily schedule and reporting news during each important session of schooling. It is normal to see students take care other students and helping them with traffic etc.
  •  Physical health and well-being(កាយពលនិងសុខមាលភាព): lacking nutrition and hygiene are one part, but school with no playground and community with no recreation center etc. are the most unaware by the government in bringing physical health, mental health, and well-being of the students.
  • Communication skills and general knowledge(កំរិតទំនាក់ទំនងគ្នាល្អនិងចំណេះដឹងទូទៅ): my personal experience from grade 12 has been a live memo as I couldn’t communicate anything useful with the outside world at all. I cannot apply my knowledge from school with the real world at all. I asked myself that as I was a number one student in classroom on both math and literature made me shy, none-confrontational, avoiding, and unproductive at work like this or what?
  • Language and cognitive development(ការអភិវឌ្ឍន៌ជំនាញភាសានិងបញ្ញាញាណ): in developed countries, students are encouraged to learn at least two languages. Many universities accept students with bilingual or multilingual only. Researches found ability to speak many languages assure students’ high competency.

Why Cambodia Government is Lacking Political Will in Education?

By looking at the budget allocating for Education from previous years, and the budget draft for this upcoming year of 2017, Education is likely not in priority for the government at all. According to VOA news, government draft law indicated increase 20.4 percent or 822 millions USD in Defence, Security and Public Order. While education and health sector are not sufficient. According H.E.Son Chhay, spending on Education is allocated 2.7 percent of total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) comparing to Vietnam is 5.5 percent, Indonesia is 4.5, and Thailand is 4.5 percent.

While Cambodia has obtained peace, the need on spending on arm-force is questionable while the needed sectors such education and health are not within government’s priority.

Posted by: | Posted on: September 11, 2016


ប្រឡងបាក់ឌុបឆ្នាំនេះជាប់៦២,១៨ភាគរយ ហើយក៏មានក្មួយខ្ញុំម្នាក់ដែរ។ និយាយដោយត្រង់ចង់សួរថា តើក្រសួងអប់រំរៀបចំយ៉ាងម៉េចចំពោះអ្នកមិនជាប់ជាង៤៧ភាគរយទៀត? អោយពួកគេរៀនឌុប? អោយពួកគេធ្វើចំណាកស្រុុកទៅស្រុកថៃ? ឬអោយពួកគេដើរទាត់ខ្យល់? ។ល។និង។ល។ជាដើម។ អ្នកជាប់ក្រៅពីមិនបានរៀនឌុប ក៏មិនប្រាកដថាគេអាចគេចផុតពីគន្លងអ្នកធ្លាក់ដែរ។ តែអ្វីដែលហួសចិត្តគឺពិភពលោកគេមិនអនុវត្តការប្រឡងជាប់ធ្លាក់(exam)ដើម្បីវាស់សមត្ថភាពកូនសិស្សទៀតទេ តែគេប្រើវិធីស្ទាបស្ទង់កំរិតព្យាយាម(assessment) របស់សិស្សវិញ។ បើកូនសិស្សព្យាយាមសិក្សាពេញលេញ គឺពួកគេមិនដែលធ្លាក់ទេក្នុងរយះពេល១២ឆ្នាំ។ ហើយប្រទេសប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ គេមិនយកការប្រឡងជាប់ធ្លាក់ដើម្បីវាស់ចំណេះដឹងកូនសិស្សទេ ព្រោះគេជឿទៅលើផ្នត់គំនិតព្យាយាម(growth mindset) ជាងផ្នត់គំនិតឆ្លាតពីកំណើត(fixed mindset)។ លើសពីនេះ កម្ពុជាមិនអាចមានចិរភាពខាងការអភិវឌ្ឍន៌ទេ បើរដ្ឋាភិបាលនៅតែប្រើគោលនយោបាយបែបសង្គមបិទ(not an open society)និងការរើសអើង(exclusive)។ យើងអាចពិនិត្យទៅលើគោលនយោបាយរើសអើង(exclusive)និងគោលនយោបាយមិនរើសអើង(inclusive) តាមកត្តាខ្លះៗដូចតទៅនេះ៖

  1. នយោបាយដឹកនាំប្រទេស=គណបក្សនយោបាយដឹកនាំរដ្ឋាភិបាលកំណត់គោលនយោបាយដែលមានតែខ្លួនម្នាក់គត់ដែលអាចរក្សាសន្តិភាពនិងការអភិវឌ្ឍន៌ដោយចាត់ទុកក្រុមជំទាស់ដែលមានកំឡាំងប្រហាក់ប្រហែលខ្លួនថាជាក្រុមបំផ្លាញសន្តិភាពនិងការអភិវឌ្ឍន៌ ព្រមទាំងខិតខំអុកឡុកអោយក្រុមនេះរលាយខ្លួនតែម្តង។
  2. នយោសេដ្ឋកិច្ចទីផ្សាសេរីមូលធនិយមបែបបក្សពួកនិយម=ដោយដំណើរនយោបាយសេដ្ឋកិច្ចបែបទីផ្សាសេរីតែមានតែបក្សពួកជំនិតៗទេដែលអាចប្រកួតប្រជែងនិងអាចដេញថ្លៃបាន។
  3. ការរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតបែបអសកល=ការរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតមួយដែលបន្សល់ទុកអ្នកបោះឆ្នោតរាប់លាននាក់មិនបានចូលរួមដូចជាមិនសំរួលអោយខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសអាចចូលរួមបាន។
  4. ប្រព័ន្ធអប់រំបែបចង្អៀតចង្អល់=គួរយកផតហ្វូលីអូ១២ឆ្នាំដែលកូនសិស្សរៀនសូត្រដើម្បីវាស់កំរិតចំណេះដឹងជាប់ធ្លាក់ជាជាងយកការប្រឡងតែពីរថ្ងៃជារង្វាស់រង្វាល់។
  5. ពិធីកម្មរដ្ឋ=រាល់ការរៀចបំវេទិការផ្សេងៗ រមែងអោយអ្នកបំរើរាស្រ្តអង្គុយខ្ពស់ជាងរាស្ត្រម្ចាស់ប្រទេស។ ការធ្វើដំណើររបស់អ្នកមានអំណាចរមែងអុកឡុកផ្លូវចរាចររបស់រាស្ត្រ។ កំរាលព្រំក្រហមគួរអោយរាស្ត្រជាអ្នកដើរលើវិញ មិនមែនសំរាប់អ្នកបំរើរាស្ត្រទេ។ រាល់សមិទ្ធផលនានាគឺជាសមិទ្ធិផលរបស់រាស្ត្រ មិនមែនរបស់អស់លោកអ្នកមានអំណាចដែលចិញ្ចឹមជីវិតដោយប្រាក់បៀរ៌វត្សន៌ដែលរាស្ត្រប្រគល់អោយទេ។ សិស្សដែលទទួលបានពិន្ទុអាដ៏ច្រើនសន្ធឹកសន្ធាប់គឺចំនួន៤០៥នាក់ឆ្នាំនេះនឹងត្រូវទទួលរង្វាន់ជាតិ មិនមែនរង្វាន់ពីអ្នកបំរើជាតិជានីតិបុគ្គលទេ។
  6. គម្លាតសង្គមនិងសង្រ្គាមស្មារតី=គម្លាតសេដ្ឋកិច្ចគ្រួសារនៃប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅតែជាសាហេតុធំដែលមានការប្រឆាំងគ្នារវាងអ្នកមាននិងអ្នកក្រ អ្នកក្រុងនិងអ្នកជនបទ ហើយសង្រ្គាមស្មារតីទាំងនេះរមែងនាំទៅរកហានីយភ័យសង្គមខ្ពស់។
Courtesy: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS)

Courtesy: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS)

Grade 12 high school exam this year passed 61.18% including one of my nephews. Actually, I want to question Ministry of Education on how they plan to help those more 47% failed students? Planning them to learn one year more? To migrate to work in Thailand? Or to be unemployed? Except no need to relearn again, those passed students shall tread in the same path as those failed students. To what I am so obsessed about is that the world is not using this method of exam to measure students’ competency any more, the world has used assessment method indeed. If students have used all perseverance during these 12 years, they shall be surely passed. And democratic countries don’t use exam as parameter to measure students’ competency because they do believe in growth mindset, not the fixed mindset.

More than this, Cambodia shall not afford sustainable development as government has pursued policy of “not an open society” and “exclusive”. We can investigate the policy of “exclusive” and “inclusive” with following indicators:

  1. Governing Politics=Government-led party has affirmed its policy by stating that only this party can maintain peace and development of the nation by excluding key opposition party with accusation that this party is a key actor of destroying peace and development; and put much effort to curb this party aiming to dissolve it eventually.
  2.  Planned Economy of Free Market of Crony Capitalism=to conduct free market economy but only close patrons and loyalists can run businesses and present a bid.
  3. Absence of Universal Suffrage Election=election that has excluded millions of voter unable to access to it, for instance the excluding of Cambodians overseas to register to vote and to vote.
  4. Fixed Mindset Education System=they should take students’ portfolio during their study of 12 years as a parameter to measure their growth and knowledge, not these few days exam.
  5. Government’s Rites/Functions=all public forums have always arranged the people’s servants to sit higher than the people. Each trip of the people’s servants has always interrupted the traffic of the people. All public goods are belonged to the people, not the people’s servants who are making a family living from salary afforded to offer by the people. Those excellent grade A students should receive the honour of national gift, not the gift of any people’s servant as an individual citizen.
  6. Social Gap and War of Spirit=family economy and social gap have remained a main cause of conflicts between the rich and the poor, the city dwellers and the farmers, and these war of spirit has become source of high social crisis for Cambodia.


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