Cambodia Embarks on New Phase of Flagship Education Programme

AKP Phnom Penh, November 16, 2018 —

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) launched here on Nov. 14 the new and final phase of a multi-year joint capacity development partnership, which aims to strengthen the country’s education sector over the period of 2018- 2021.

Known as the Capacity Development Partnership Fund (CDPF), the programme is a partnership between the Royal Government of Cambodia, 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. The programme, which started in 2011, has entered its third phase in 2018 for a total amount of US$27 million over four years.

H.E. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of MoEYS, pointed to the expanded partnership as a benefit for the programme in its final phase.

“We welcome the Global Partnership for Education and USAID to the CDPF partnership and look forward to working closely with all partners in the final phase of this programme,” he said. “The activities we conduct under CDPF are focused on improving the ministry’s capacity to provide inclusive and equitable access to education for all children; and to ensure effective leadership and management of education staff at all levels. We will continue to strengthen the competencies of education professionals in Cambodia so that every child in the country can receive inclusive and quality education,” he said.

The CDPF in its new phase will continue to complement the Government’s education budget in support of capacity development efforts to improve education service delivery for all Cambodian children.

H.E. George Edgar, EU Ambassador to Cambodia, said EU, together with SIDA and UNICEF has been involved in CDPF since its inception.

“We strongly believe in the approach that the MoEYS and Development Partners decided to take on capacity development. CDPF allowed a structured and coordinated approach around capacity development and reform implementation, reaching out to MoEYS staff at all levels, including schools, in a coherent way. The inclusion of GPE and USAID contribution in this third phase is an additional sign of the good work CDPF has been doing and of the recognition that country systems can and should be used to achieve results and increase alignment and harmonisation in the education sector. Moreover, it adds even more value to the concept of partnership that is at the core of CDPF,” he added.

The programme’s third phase builds upon the successes of previous phases to provide an efficient and effective education service for school-age children in the country, focusing specifically on three major areas of development: Strengthening MoEYS capacity in planning, monitoring, public financial management, policy implementation and management of education reforms for improved sector performance; Improving capacities at provincial and district levels to plan, manage, monitor and ensure effective implementation of policies for improved education service delivery; and Strengthening school-level capacity and accountability, including for teachers and school directors in relation to planning, financing and management to increase participation and learning.

Ms. Natascha Paddison, Acting UNICEF Representative to Cambodia, said given Cambodia’s history, the transformation of Cambodia’s education system has been nothing short of remarkable. “However, we must continue to address remaining challenges, especially for students who come from more vulnerable and marginalised communities. The CDPF programme is important because it involves every part of Cambodian society in the education reform. From government officials, to school directors, teachers and parents. We hope to empower Cambodians to invest in education so children can benefit in the long-run,” she underlined.

In the last few years, CDPF-supported interventions in education reform have yielded positive outcomes for children and education professionals in Cambodia.

MoEYS can now more effectively prioritise equity-focused interventions and accelerate efforts to reach the most vulnerable and excluded children through CDPF-supported interventions, such as scholarships for disadvantaged children and inclusive education for children with disabilities.

Education professionals can more effectively manage their schools due to professional learning opportunities that aim to enhance the skills and qualifications of key personnel in education leadership, administration and management.

By Khan Sophirom