Early childhood education

Child-friendly schools

Ensuring sustainability

Ethnic minorities and children with disabilities


Ensuring sustainability

Ensuring sustainability in the education system
© UNICEF Cambodia/Nicolas Axelrod

Over the last decade, Cambodia’s education sector has been evolving toward a sector-wide approach to accelerate overall reform of the education system. The process began in 2001 with the adoption of the first Education Strategic Plan 20012005, the Education Sector Support Programme 2001-2005 and the development of the National Education for All Action Plan in 2003, which outlined a number of goals to achieve education for all Cambodian children by 2015.

The Education Strategic Plan 2006-2010 then set out to achieve these goals through the implementation of three national policies: achieving equitable access to education services, improving the quality and efficiency of education, and strengthening institutional capacity to deliver on education.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has increasingly demonstrated strong leadership and ownership of this approach and, along with education development partners, has demonstrated a strong commitment to increase aid effectiveness to improve the country’s education system as a whole. The Education Strategic Plan 2009-2013 has developed under government leadership and without external technical assistance.

Yet, despite making progress towards reform, key challenges remain to ensure long-term sustainability of the education system, built on equity. A continuing challenge is to strengthen institutional capacity in areas such as human resource management and strategic and operational planning. Additionally, further decentralization of education policies and strategies needs to be advanced to ensure they are being effectively implemented at all levels.

UNICEF’s work to build capacity for sector-wide reform and decentralization aims to help establish the fundamentals for long-term, sustainable and results-oriented sector-wide education reform by supporting the government to help build the capacity of its staff and institutions.

What we do

  • Support the implementation of the Education Strategic Plan 2009-2013.
  • Support government capacity building in strategic and operational planning, both at the central and sub-national levels.
  • Support the alignment and harmonization of Cambodia’s education sector, and enhanced aid effectiveness in education.
  • Support policies and strategies in education that advance local governance reform, in accordance with Cambodia’s broader sub-national democratic development process.

Ensuring sustainability in the education system
© UNICEF Cambodia/Nicolas Axelrod


Two major mechanisms are now assisting the government to effectively implement Cambodia’s sector-wide approach to education: the Joint Technical Working Group on Education, comprising the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and development partners, including those from civil society, and the Education Sector Working Group, which brings together development partners working in education.

One of the most important tasks led by the Joint Technical Working Group is the annual sector performance review, carried out jointly by the government and development partners. This review has been conducted at the regional and national levels since the early 2000s and has been integrated into the Education Congress at the national and sub-national levels since 2006. It is now fully led by the Ministry, a development that reflects progress in strengthening national capacities. Key legal and policy frameworks were also developed in 2009, including a Master Plan for Education for Children with Disabilities and the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy.



 Email this article

unite for children