In nowadays world affair, the states are trying to compete the power with each other not only by the military capability like in the past time, but they are most likely to compete in the economic development. Meanwhile the economic development of a country is mainly contributed by many factors such as human resources, capital resources, technology, and the government policyâ€¦etc. Human resources is the important criteria in the development of a country since technology and government policy come from the human resourceâ”€ educated people. Therefore, it means that education is very essential for the country development. Anyways, for a newly become developing country such as Cambodia, better education is a vital sector for the government to achieve in order to produce human resources for develop the country. The organizations such as, UNICEF, UNESCO, and the MDG has a strong relationship with the education for all in Cambodia.
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Before explaining the relation between those organizations and the education in Cambodia, we should have a glance on the history of education. The traditional education in Cambodia was derived from local Wat (pagoda) that students were taught by bonzes. All students were boys while girls were not allow going to Wat School. Many Wat Schools was also called Pali schools that provided three years of elementary education that students could take entrance into the Buddhist lycées and continue to Buddhist University in Phnom Penh. Many subjects such as Pali of Buddhist and Khmer doctrine, Cambodian history, geography, science, civics, , hygiene, mathematics and agriculture were taught in the school (education in cambodia). Until 1863, when French forced to protectorate Cambodia, owed to the financial and managerial reasons made French paid less attention to the reforming of education system in Cambodia while the plan was made without any actions were taken. Under the French protectorate, Khmers were compelled to study in neighboring countries or in France, but in 1944 there was still only one Khmer engineer in whole country. In addition to that, because of the taxation policy made the people preferred their children to stay at home and earn money to supply for their family living rather than allowed their children to go to school to get knowledge.
On contrary, the post independence period was a golden era of education development in Cambodia; meanwhile, the education system was spread widely. King Sihanouk raised the profile of education by making attendance compulsory for the young and motivating parents to send their older children to school as well. Moreover, the King also started a process of 'Cambodianisation' of the educational system that changed the language of instruction, the structure of courses and school textbooks (Berkvens, 2009). In 1970, Cambodia universities have nearly 9,000 students that the Royal University of Phnom Penh hold the largest number of studentsâ”€ 4,570 male and more than 730 female students in eight departments such as: science and technology, commercial science, law and economics, letters and humanities, pharmacy, medicine, teacher training, and higher teacher training (education in cambodia). Because of the spread of education, more people graduated, lead to new problem which is unemployment since the graduated people are more than the required job (Berkvens, 2009).
Unfortunately, after the coming of the Khmer Rouge regime on April 17th, 1975 Pol Pot completely changed the education system in Cambodia that they abandoned the classroom, books, and most of the educated people were killed. One Khmer Rouge cadre said: "Under our system, we don't need to send our young people to school. The farm is our school. The land is our paper. The plough is our pen. We will write by ploughing" (Berkvens, 2009). After Pol Pot regime there are only 5000 of 20000 teachers (education in cambodia). After Pol Pot regime collapsed, there was another dark age of Cambodia under the Vietnamese occupation. In the early 1980s; however, the education system in Cambodia improved slightly that primary and secondary education programs were re-opened, but only to students those who can afford to the school fee while the lesson was taught in veitnamese (Sheldon).
After 30 years of reforming the country, the Cambodian government has been trying to give the population higher education system as we can see below about the changing in the education system, the result of reforming, and the further reforming education policy. Firstly, according to the UNESCO report, the education system in Cambodia is divided into 5 phases: pre-primary education, primary education (grade 1-6), lower secondary education (grade7-9), upper secondary education (grade 10-12), and higher education. Six years of primary education and three years of lower secondary education make up the country's basic education provision. After completing upper secondary education, students can either enter vocational training (which lasts for one to three years depending on the programmes) or universities (which offer two-year associate degree programmes, four-year bachelor's degree programmes, and seven-year medical programmes). The Non-formal Education program plays an important role in providing literacy and life skill programmes, as well as short-term vocational training to school dropouts and adults (Haddad, 2008). Secondly, the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) and the Education Sector Support Program (ESSP) 2006-2010 of the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport have been developed to respond to the rectangular strategy of the government to achieve the goals of the national plan for Education for All (EFA) and Cambodian Millennium Development Goals (CMDG). After practice the plan, there has been an increased access to education services with equity in all education institutions and all school levels. The students' enrolment in primary schools is stable while there has been a remarkable increase in secondary school level (Moeys, 2009). Moreover, the broad reform in education has increased primary school with the enrollment of rural female students, disabled people, and indigenous people. In addition to that, the teacher performance has also increased with many non-formal programs were introduced. Furthermore, the quality of education has also improved by new teaching skills, test system, and the standard of schools (moeys). Thirdly, even though there is the development in the education system compare to the past, the education in Cambodia has not fulfilled the need to develop the country yet; therefore, the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport did introduce to strategic plan in reforming the education in Cambodia which is Education for all National Plan 2003-2015. The National Plan of Education for All spells out comprehensive technical and financial plans focusing on (1) gender responsive strategies, (2) early childhood care and development, (3) formal basic education, and (4) non-formal education and adult literacy. The plan focuses on both quantity expansion and quality/relevance of the programmes (Lah, 2002). Moreover, the strategies include scholarship schemes for the rural poor to increase the transitional rate from primary to lower secondary; capacity-building of both teaching and non-teaching staff through pre-service and in-service training, and monitoring of learning outcomes (Haddad, 2008).
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Unlike many other developing countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodia has been through many eras and regimes that make the country experienced the prosperity and declination in the education systemâ”€ the loss of human resources (chet, 2006). However, through the period of reforming and developing the country after recovered from the war, social and political instability, Cambodia now is going toward the higher education system as well as the economic development. On the other hand, the completely self-reforming for the country that has just recovered from war as Cambodia is impossible since there is the lack of human resources, financial support as well as strategy. Therefore, in term of developing the country, Cambodia needs the help from other people. As a result, there are also 3 notable actors who involved in reforming the education system such as: UNESCO, UNICEF, and the MDGs.
First of all, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was established on 16 November 1945. It stated the objectives to promote peace and security through international cooperation on education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights along with fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. In term of education, UNESCO seeks to "provide educational opportunities and offer technical assistances to give the chance of receiving the equal education for all people; moreover, UNESCO also help the member more easy to achieve the goals by monitoring the progress through the submitting of annual Global Monitoring Report which show the achievements of countries and the international community towards the six Educations for All goals" (UNESCO). The UNESCO has being played very important for Cambodia since 1951 when Cambodia joined this organization. Especially, in education, UNESCO has provided comprehensive coordination and technical assistance to the MoEYS for the establishment of six relevant EFA technical working groups. UNESCO has also assisted MoEYS in the formulation and establishment of the national education policy and strategy to reach out to broader populations at all levels. And a number of education policies were created such as: the National EFA Action Plan, the National Non-Formal Education Policy 2002, the National Plan of Action for Non-Formal Education 2008 and the Policy on Non-Formal Education Equivalency Programme 2008â€¦etc. Moreover, UNESCO assisted the MoEYS in formulating and disseminating the Teacher Development Plan to teachers, teacher associations, and teacher training institutions, and advocating for the rights of teachers by providing technical assistance and the information for teaching. More, UNESCO has assisted with the Equivalency Programme Policy formulation and CLC expansion and functioning by producing and disseminating a Khmer version of CLC management handbooks to NFE policymakers and practitioners, and also by supporting Cambodians in various regional training workshops (UNESCO, 2010).
Secondly, UNICEF (United Nation International Children's Emergency Fund) also helps in shaping the education quality in Cambodia. UNICEF was created on December 11, 1946 in order to supply emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had affected by World War II. UNICEF also seeks for the security and development for children and mothers in developing countries. Especially, UNICEF's programs emphasize developing community-level services to improve the children well being. Therefore, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord in 2006. For education, UNICEF's works is to "achieve equal opportunity for every children around the world to get the education , distribute of the Essential Learning Package, set the standards of education system, empower women through girls' education and gender equality, provide emergencies and post-crisis education that step quickly promote better education by offer the self-learning program, grant vital equipments and supplies for the basic needs to seek education, and enhance quality in primary and secondary education to help improve the school infrastructure as well as the education properity" (UNICEF). Concerning on the education in Cambodia, UNICEF started to cooperate the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYs) since the late 1980s with the common objective to give the right of all Cambodian children for getting quality basic education. UNICEF has also participated in setting national policies, building up Ministry capacities, improving quality of primary education system, and facilitating education service to six of Cambodia's 24 provinces. In addition to that, UNICEF has accompanied with the MoEYs to contribute to the education system in Cambodia through many factors such as, increased the expenditure for develop the education system as well as the ministry capability to improve the quality of education. Moreover, the UNESCO has also helped to reinforce MoEYS ability to self-reform the system under SWAp (the principles of a sector-wide approach) by increasing confidence of internal staffs. The Ministry has implementing the ESP/ESSP 2006-2010 without external assistances and with little technical support from the donors. In addition to that, the cooperation has succeed in increase the access to primary school with narrow the gender gap that have increased the number of enrollment of female student more than half in 2002. Furthermore, Education Law was drafted in 2003 by the MOEYs under the influence of the UNSECO. What is more, primary education quality has also up surged both students and teachers' quality through decentralized planning, management and monitoring process (Moeys, 2010).
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Thirdly, the last organization that has signification role in developing Cambodia education is UNDP under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs' goal is to reduce world poverty by half by 2015. Many people can benefit from the economy development and some other people life can be saved from the harmful of the poverty. The MDGs are "time-bound and targeted goal that has a set a limited for the goals to achieve by dealing with the extreme poverty such as: hunger, income poverty, inadequate shelter, disease and exclusion; moreover, it was created to encourage education, gender equality and environmental sustainability base on the rights of every people to receive health protection, shelter education, and security as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Millennium Declaration" (UNDP). Moreover, the MDGs try to promote the gender quality of primary and secondary educational system by 2005 and at all level by 2015 (wikipedia). MDG has also put a lot of effort in developing education system in Cambodia as it has set many programs for the reforming education in the rural communities such as; Highland Children's Education Project that established school in rural area by the communities human resources, Bending Bamboo with providing the education for out of school girls and the bilingual languages class with the local teacher, Child Friendly Secondary Schools is a program that the town students help the rural student for their studies, and Provide technical assistance to the Provincial Office of Education in the three provinces that are replicating the model of bilingual education. Provide technical advice to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (UNDP policy, 2010).
Accordingly, UNESCO, UNICEF, and the MDGs have done a lot of job in reforming and developing the education in Cambodia. As a result, Cambodian new generation have enjoyed the better education than in the past that most of children have the chance to go to school and seek for the knowledge without the discrimination of the gender in both urban and rural area. And the developed in education system has also contributed to the economic development, human well-being, and the better education as the goals of the UNESCO, UNICEF, as well as the MDGs. Likewise, we can know that all these organizations are the agencies of the United Nations who plays the important role in the governance of the global affair. The UN is the main actor in solving the problems in international affair such as humanitarian, peace keeping, peace building, developmentâ€¦etc. In term of Cambodia, after the war period the United Nations has sent its agency, for example: UNTAC, for peace keeping in Cambodia. Besides, after ensuring the peace in the country the UN started to send other agencies such as; UNESCO, UNICEF, and UNDP to created the development in the country that first priority is reforming the education system. The role of the UN's agencies in Cambodia has shown the responsibility in one of the country in the world as the action of the global governance for the development. In addition to that, the actions are not only taken in Cambodia as it is also done in other part of the world such as: other countries in Asia, Africa where the help is needed. Therefore, the global governance mission is the complex and difficult job to do since it required dealing with all the problem in global affair, and in Cambodia development is needed the help from the UN's agencies such as: UNESCO, UNICEF, and MDGs for building the human resource by firstly improve the education for all.