Education Budget Brief 2021

Revisiting Education Budget Allocative Efficiency, and Impact of COVID-19 Budget Cut on Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports 2020-2021

Education Budget Brief 2020
UNICEF Cambodia


This education budget brief analyzed the potential impact of COVID-19 particularly the budget rationalization introduced by Ministry of Economy and Finance on Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 2020 and 2021. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has commitment to improve quality of education services. Major reform program took place in 2014, accompanied by rapid increases in the budget allocation in the sector.  The MOEYS’s budget reached its peak in 2018, 17.5% of total budget then dropped to 12.4% in 2021 due to the re-prioritization during intensified impact of the pandemic. Reduction in capital expenditure and rationalized recurrent budget versus overall budget expansion contributed to this smaller share. The rationalization in 2021 has had an impact of around USD6.4 million, equivalent to around 0.9% of the pre-rationalized current budget. This cut though minimal, but it also impacted certain programmes implemented centrally such as teacher training.

Despite the disruption, MOEYS has maintained its firm progress in deconcentrating most of its budget (88%) to provincial level aiming at closing the equity gap of recurrent budget per student which translates to an improvement in access to education and the learning performance of students, especially female students. School feeding program were continued during the pandemic helping to address school drop- out issues as well to as to improve access to nutritional intake for school aged children.

While the disruption to in-class learning activities, the provincial level has managed to maintain the trend execution well, 97.6% versus 73.8% at central level. This situation presents a need to tackle the bottleneck in expediting the disbursement of non-wage expenditure to support the achievement of central ministry targets coupled with strengthening the capacity of MoEYS’s officials in implementing new budget execution guidelines introduced by Ministry of Economy and Finance.

UNICEF Cambodia
Publication date