Education for all children
The Convention on the Rights of the Child spells out all children’s right to education. In Cambodia, however, the proportion of children who start primary school and stay until the end of lower secondary school is low, due to dropouts and low enrolment into secondary school. According to UNICEF analysis, a child who started Grade 1 in school-year 2014/15 has only a 31 per cent chance of reaching the end of lower secondary school (Grade 9). Key barriers to learning include family migration, the hidden costs of education, low teacher motivation, limited capacities of teachers, language of instruction used in schools and attitudes towards children with disabilities.
To make education accessible for all children in Cambodia, UNICEF is supporting to establish multilingual education in 64 pre-schools and more than 100 primary schools in five highland provinces. This initiative, conducted in partnership with the Government and CARE, includes training teachers and developing learning materials in indigenous languages to make learning easier for children from ethnic minorities. UNICEF also works with partners to develop a national diploma for teachers on special needs education to ensure that schools are addressing the needs of children with disabilities.
At the community level, UNICEF works to strengthen relationships among parents, schools and district authorities to ensure that the community’s voice is heard and their demands met. UNICEF supports communication initiatives in selected districts to build the capacity and confidence of communities to engage with local education authorities. With greater knowledge of their rights, parents will be able to negotiate for more inclusive and better quality education as well as for greater transparency in the use of resources.
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