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Project profile

Highland Community Education Program (HCEP): Teacher Training

People living in Ratanak Kiri face unique challenges, particularly in access to education. In 2002, when CARE established the Highland Community Education Program (HCEP), ethnic minority groups, with their own distinct languages and cultures, constituted 66% of the population of the province. The education indicators for Ratanak Kiri compared poorly with lowland provinces and the situation was at its worst amongst highland communities in the remote areas away from the provincial and district towns. Typically there were no teachers in these remote schools, as Khmer teachers refuse to stay at such posts. And on the occasions when there was a school and a teacher, then the teacher and the children could not understand each other because of linguistic and cultural barriers. Less than 10% of the population completed primary school.


The Highland Community Education Program (HCEP) is a participatory bilingual community school model that targets indigenous ethnic minority children and was established by CARE in response to the lack of educational opportunities available to children of remote indigenous ethnic minority communities. Ten years from the project’s inception, HCEP now focuses on building the capacity of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to take over the training of bilingual ethnic minority teachers.


  1. In partnership with MoEYS and ethnic minority communities, support a lifelong learning process which promotes cultural diversity and advances education for women and girls.

  2. Support MoEYS to take full ownership of bilingual education through increasing the capacity of teachers, core trainers, District Office of Education officials and Provincial Office of Education officials.


Key activities

Project activities include:

  • Provide foundation training for new teachers in bilingual education methodologies

  • Improve the quality of teaching and learning in secondary schools for all students, especially for ethnic minority girls, through a bilingual in-service training and support visits

  • Provide ongoing training and in classroom support to bilingual education teachers from four provinces

  • Support 43 schools to run bilingual education programs benefiting over three thousand ethnic minority students

  • Train newly-appointed government Core Trainers for bilingual education

  • Support the Provincial Offices of Education and District Offices of Education from four provinces to scale up and take over ownership of the bilingual education program


June 2010 – June 2014



Ratanak Kiri, Mondul Kiri, Stung Treng, and Kratie provinces


  • Four Provincial Offices of Education

  • Nine District Offices of Education

  • 43 primary schools

  • 83 teachers (44 women)

  • 3531 indigenous students (1629 girls)

  • Indigenous communities

Project partners


  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport

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