04 May 2022

Learning Loss Report

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has revealed alarming new findings about learning loss experienced by Cambodian students during the pandemic. The results emerged from MoEYS' latest National Grade 6 Learning Assessment, which was conducted in November 2021 and announced in March 2022 after detailed analysis. The Ministry's Education Quality Assurance Department (EQAD) assessed more than 6,000 students in 230 schools across Cambodia and found that children had fallen behind in their learning during the pandemic. Compared to the last equivalent Learning Assessment in 2016, the percentage of students who failed to demonstrate basic proficiency increased from 34% to 45% in the Khmer language and from 49% to 74% in Mathematics. Schools in Cambodia were closed for 250 days during 2020 and 2021, the equivalent of almost two-thirds of the two school years. The Learning Assessment results reveal that although all students experienced learning loss after these closures, the impact was not evenly distributed. Boys lost more learning and performed worse in testing: 55% of boys were assessed as not meeting basic proficiency in the Khmer language in 2021, compared to 34% of girls. Other results showed that while urban schools achieved better results than rural schools in both 2016 and 2021, they also saw more severe levels of learning loss. There was also a marked difference in the severity of loss across the two core subjects of Mathematics and the Khmer language. Mathematics results were considerably worse than Khmer results, reflecting the fact that Mathematics often requires more in-person attention and support than the Khmer language, something made much more difficult by school closures.