The MDG and education for all in cambodia

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As one of the lease developing countries in the world, Cambodia has improved very slowly in all kind of development including education. Education in Cambodia was customarily accessible by the local Wats (Buddhist temples) and mostly it provided only for the male population, but this excluded female because instruction was given by the young monks (bonzes) and it was mostly limited to learning only about the Buddhist chants in Pali.

In 1917, during the French colonial, they did not pay much attention to educating Cambodian. However, a few years later, the Law on Education that approved by the French colonial government introduced a fundamental primary and secondary education system modelled loosely on that of France. This modern education progressed very slowly in Cambodia. However, that new system was fundamentally limited, only a very small amount of the indigenous people and functioning mainly to train civil servants that work for colonial service throughout French Indochina.

Right after gaining independence from France in 1953, a universal education system was established; go along with the development of a network of professional colleges such as the School of Health that was built in 1953, the Royal School of administration in 1956, the College of Education in 1959, and so on. Conversely, besides a Buddhist University that was established in 1954 to provide education merely for the monks, Cambodia had no public institution of higher education until 1960s when the Khmer Royal University was created. In 1965 this institution became the Royal University and in the same year six more tertiary training institutions were shaped in some provinces like the Royal Technical University, the Royal University of Agronomic Sciences and the Popular University, University of Fine Arts, the Royal University of Kompong Cham, Takeo, Battambang, and so on.

Immediately the Khmer Rouge had come to control in 1975, they abolished education system, destroying all of the teaching materials, books and publishing center. Schools and universities were blocked and that buildings were use as the inventory instead. They also engaged in the physical destruction of institutional infrastructure for higher education such as books, buildings, and other educational resources. They claimed "rice fields were books, and hoes were pencils." As such, Cambodia did not need an educational system. At least half of the written material available in the Khmer language was destroyed. During this period large numbers of people with higher education such as qualified teachers, professors, researchers, technicians, doctors, lawyers, and former college students were killed or forced to work in labor camps. It is estimated that by the end of the Khmer Rouge regime, around 75 to 80 percent of Cambodian educators were killed, died of overwork, or left the country.

Once the new Cambodian government came to authority in 1979, it had to totally rebuild the whole education system. Pre-school, primary and secondary schools were re-emerging, followed by non-formal education for adults and a network of colleges and universities. However, this education system is still limited, only in the cities and some provinces can receive it. As a result, Cambodia still suffers from an insufficient education system. This has the outcome of keeping Cambodian people poor, as without literacy and economically practical skills, they don't have any way of improving their condition.

Yet the education in Cambodia now is still not good enough. As evidence, there are about 29% of the total population are still illiterates. In order to deal with that, our government is the most important actor to promote education in Cambodia. Therefore, the government of Cambodia has follow the Education for All which is an international initiative first launched in Thailand in 1990, to bring the benefits of education to every citizen in every society.

In this situation, in order to achieve its goal, the government needs to do several steps. Firstly, they have to expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. secondly, they must ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, those in difficult conditions, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free, and compulsory primary education of good quality. Thirdly, they are supposed to ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs. Fourthly, they ought to achieve a 50 % improvement in adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults. Fifthly, they need to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls' full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality. Finally, they have to develop all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, innumeracy and essential life skills.

Regarding to the framework of Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport of Cambodia, our Education for All plans (2003-2015) was draws upon a number of other development planning initiatives by the Royal Government of Cambodia. It is guided by the Cambodia Socio Economic Development Plan II, approved by Government in 2002, which sets out pro-poor development policies and strategies. This Education for All plans also derives strategic guidance from the ongoing Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan of 2002 which charts systemic and targeted interventions for poverty reduction in Cambodia, including clearly defined education policy, strategy and financing targets.

In order to deal with the large number of illiteracy, Education for All is one of the best ways to used that we cannot deny. However, government alone cannot do best by themselves in order to achieve a better education in Cambodia, they need cooperation from others actors like INGOs, NGOs, so on and so forth.

With regarding to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was created by 189 countries under the United Nation through the United Nations Secretary-General in 2002. It is gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015. There are 8 goals which are: Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty, Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education, Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality, Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health, Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability, and Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development. It is important because it give the global framework to all the countries to walk forward and what the countries need to be achieved.

Since 2003, the global MDGs have been localizing in Cambodia. It is called CMDGs which is more likely to the global MDGs but we add up one more goals which is mention about the DE-mining, exploded ordinance, and victim assistance.

On the topic of the second goal of CMDGs, it is mention about Achieve Universal Nine-year basic Education which is taking root of the Education for All. To achieve this we will ensure all children complete primary schooling by 2010 and Nine-year basic schooling by 2015. Also, we want to eliminate gender disparity in Nine-year basic education by 2010.

In sum, the MDGs and the CMDGs is the very important indicator to promote the global development and the development in Cambodia especially in the field of education. However it also needs to be well practice by the government and the non-state actors like the UNICEF, the UNISCO, and so on, unless it will be only a crape of paper.

Concerning to this, we can see that some agency of the UN like the UNICEF, they also work very hard to promote education system to all of their members' states. They believe that education is the greatest investment that all society can make in its future. They work with a broad range of local, national and international partners to realize the educational and gender-equality goals established in the Millennium Declaration 6 and the Declaration on Education for All, and to bring about essential structural changes that are necessary to achieve social justice and equality for all. While most of the Millennium Development Goals face a deadline of 2015, they also set out the target to ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling in 2015 too.

ON the topic of the challenges, many of the nations supported by its programs do not have adequate facilities or supplies for a successful public school system. As evidence, more than 120 million children especially in the developing world are not in school but more than half of them are girls.

In order to deal with this, they work tirelessly to provide all children regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or circumstances with access to a quality basic education. Also, they support a range of initiatives educating children from pre-school through adolescence. Even though in times of conflict, they make assure that children have the chance to learn. Furthermore, they train teachers and send them "School-in-a-Box" kits meaning that they can set up class anywhere and every time. As evidence, they use around $2.50 to provide basic school supplies, including notebooks, pencils, rulers, erasers and scissors, for one child, $14 to supply one chalkboard for a classroom to facilitate teaching

and help students learn visually, and $250 to offer one recreation kit containing toys, games and physical education supplies for an entire class of girls and boys.

Like everywhere in the world, UNICEF also works very hard and closely in Cambodia. For example, OPTIONS scholarships which run by World Education with financial support from UNICEF and the United States Department of Labor's enable girls at risk of dropping out to remain in primary and lower secondary school. In poor provinces like Prey Veng, where many families are forced to migrate to escape the impact of persistent floods and drought, the scholarships also help protect girls from being trafficked or sexually exploited.

On the topic of UNESCO which is stand for the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, but not all the people know about what is the role of it? Concerning to the good cooperation, the UNESCO is not stand still, it also act as an important role to bring better education to the world as well as to Cambodia.

Over haft a century ago, since 1960, UNESCO has held a very important general conference in Paris that recalled about Universal Declaration on Human right, which mentioned about the principle of Non-discrimination and proclaim that everyone have the right and equality of education opportunity.

Since the UNESCO came to Cambodia in 1991, it is very successful in their task. For example, it has provided comprehensive coordination and technical assistance to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport for the establishment of six relevant Educations for All technical working groups. In addition, it played an important role in facilitating a well-coordinated, timely and professional response from the donor community to the demands of education development and requests for assistance from the government. Furthermore, it provides the technical support in order to formulate the education policies. Moreover, it also take action to help the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in formulating and disseminating the Teacher Development Plan to teachers, teacher associations, and teacher training institutions, and advocating for the rights of teachers under the ILO/UNESCO recommendations.

In short, education in Cambodia is become better and better because of the well cooperation and hard working of the UNESCO, other UN agencies, local and international NGOs, and the government. On the topic of good global government, NGOs also play quite a huge role in helping to provide education for all to the people especially for the kids who are most in need, but education inside the country in general still needs much more money to spent on. Otherwise, Cambodia's huge numbers of younger generation won't be able to get the education and skills they'll need to contribute significantly to their economy.

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