The Royal Government of Cambodia and partners support quality education throughout the country’s COVID recovery

04 November 2021
© UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Antoine Raab
UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Antoine Raab

Kampong Chhnang, 4 November 2021 – Today the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) was joined by its Capacity Development Partnership Fund (CDPF III) partners to celebrate school reopenings in Kampong Chhnang to witness the use of the new Home Learning Packages which are being distributed to all 760,180 Cambodian children in public schools Grade 1 and Grade 2. Partners included the Ambassador of the European Union (EU), representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The delegation visited a school in Kampong Chhnang, which has recently reopened. They met with the school director and teachers at Bunrany Hun Sen Rormeas Primary School in Akphivath Commune, and were invited to observe young students learning with the help of the Learning Packages. Here they also spoke with teachers, students and families about progress with school reopenings and how the Home Learning Packages support children to catch up with their learning, both at school and at home.

The Home Learning Packages were created by MoEYS with funding from CDPF partners to support learning during school closures and as they begin to reopen. The packages include age-appropriate self-study materials to improve reading, writing, spelling and mathematics, all complementing the MoEYS Grade 1 and 2 curricula. Information on how parents can support their children’s education and protect them from COVID-19 is also included in an environmentally friendly, reusable bag along with a bar of soap.

© UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Antoine Raab
UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Antoine Raab

While most schools in Cambodia re-opened on 1st of November, many are using a blended approach which combines face-to-face and home learning. The Home Learning Packages can be used both in classroom and at home, with the help of either teachers or parents. The Home Learning Packages will help Grade 1 and 2 students catch-up on any education they have missed during the past months.

His Excellency Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodia’s Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, said: “As the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and schools reopen, the education of our youngest children is a top priority. The Learning Packages will make sure that children can learn effectively. We appreciate the support of valued partners such as the SIDA, USAID, UNICEF, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the EU in helping us support students through this difficult time. They are the latest evidence of the deep, long-term collaboration between MoEYS and partners.”

Her Excellency Carmen Moreno, the European Union Ambassador to Cambodia, speaking on behalf of Team Europe, i.e. the EU and its Member States, said: “The human right to education is a key building block for Cambodia’s sustainable development. The learning materials concretely support the post-COVID recovery. They are further evidence of the commitment of Team Europe against the pandemic.”  

Foroogh Foyouzat, Representative for UNICEF in Cambodia, said: “Children’s education is the key which unlocks a nation’s continued development, so we are very happy to see schools reopen again. We’ll continue to work with the Ministry of Education and all our CDPF partners to help children, especially the most vulnerable, recover the learning they have lost during the pandemic. This includes important initiatives such as these Home Learning Packages. We will also support MoYES in monitoring implementation of prevention measures, including through engagement of teachers, parents and communities so that schools continue to operate safely”.
 

“USAID is a long-time and proud supporter of the Cambodian people,” said Ms. Hanh Nguyen, USAID/Cambodia Deputy Mission Director. “Our collaboration with the diverse partners present here today, including Cambodia’s dedicated primary school teachers and students, is a testament to that support.  USAID believes a dedicated team sharing their skills and technical expertise can produce a concrete result that has far-reaching impact. The materials that are being distributed today were developed by Cambodian educators, Ministry experts, local authors, and illustrators. They will serve as valuable resources for schools and communities not only during this period of COVID disruption, but for generations to come.”

© UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Antoine Raab
UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Antoine Raab

Magnus Saemundsson, First Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden said: “We are very proud that we have been able, together with our partners in the CDPF, to support the MoEYS in mitigating the effects that the school closure has had on learning during the pandemic. The learning losses for students in Cambodia are huge although the innovative and immediate digital responses of the MoEYS have moderated these losses. The Home Learning Package is another important intervention that will have a long-term effect on reading and learning.”

Background

The Capacity Development Partnership Fund (CDPF) is a partnership between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia (MoEYS), the European Union (EU), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and UNICEF.  Through a pooled funding mechanism, the CDPF provides support to implement capacity development priorities in the education sector. The CDPF entered its third phase in 2018, which will continue until June 2023, supporting capacity building initiatives in the education sector with approximately US$32 million. This new phase builds on the successes of the previous two phases, implemented since 2011 for a total additional amount of US$24 million.

The CDPF has continued to support MoEYS during the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the distribution of hygiene materials in 2020 to all schools, appropriate communication, development of on-going learning materials and other capacity building initiatives.

About the European Union
The European Union (EU) is a unique economic and political union between 27 EU countries that together cover much of the continent. It is Cambodia's second biggest trading partner and, together with its Member States, one of its largest cooperation partners.

The EU is the largest contributor to the education sector in Cambodia. The European Union and its Member States invest in international cooperation for education more than the rest of the world combined.
Follow the European Union Delegation to Cambodia on Facebook.

About USAID/Cambodia
Reaching all 25 Cambodian provinces, USAID works with Cambodian and international partners to implement a range of programs that benefit all Cambodians.  Our work focuses on strengthening democratic governance and human rights; improving health and nutrition; supporting education and child development; increasing agricultural production and food security; conserving forests and watersheds; and helping farmers and households adapt to and mitigate the impact of natural hazards.

Sweden in Cambodia
Sweden has been supporting the development of Cambodia for decades and particularly education at all levels. The main aims of the Swedish support are to contribute to increased understanding of and respect for human rights, support a democratic process and active engagement of citizens in decision making and promote the Rule of Law. For more information on Sweden’s work in Cambodia go to Facebook និង Twitter

About the Global Partnership for Education
GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. We mobilize partners and funds to support 76 lower-income countries to transform their education systems so that every girl and boy can get the quality education they need to unlock their full potential and contribute to building a better world.

 

For more information please contact

  • H.E. Dr. ROS Soveacha, MoEYS Spokesperson, Tel: +855 78 755 556 or e-mail: soveacha2002@yahoo.com
  • Pok Poun, Press and Information Officer, European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Tel: +855 12 347 716 or email: pok.poun@eeas.europa.eu,

Media contacts

Rudina Vojvoda
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Cambodia
Tel: +85523260204;ext=434
Bunly Meas
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Cambodia
Tel: +85523260204;ext=435

Additional resources

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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