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CARE's approach to multilingual education in Cambodia recognised in international handbook

CARE’s attentive and thorough approach to multilingual education for ethnic minorities in Cambodia was featured in a recent book.

The Handbook of Bilingual and Multilingual Education, published by WILEY Blackwell, talks about CARE’s work providing technical assistance piloting multilingual education at 20 preschools in Cambodia’s north-eastern provinces, as well as the Highlands Children’s Education Project where six community schools were established in remote villages targeting boys and girls who have never enrolled in school or would have dropped out in the formal system and CARE’s ongoing teacher assistance through training.


CARE’s work has continued to expand, working extensively throughout primary schools in ethnic minority communities as well as lower-secondary schools to provide culturally sensitive education to ethnic minorities in the national language of Khmer.

The chapter Striving for Education All through Bilingual Education in Cambodia by Wayne Wright and Sovicheth Boun, says Cambodia’s multilingual and bilingual education has been successful in progressing to education for all.

It reads that CARE’s Resource Production Unit produced curricular materials for the schools featuring high quality short reading books and materials aligned with the state's curriculum, but also incorporate indigenous cultural knowledge, practices, and concerns.

“By 2011 CARE had produced over 90 book titles in Tampuen and Kreung, over 20 book titles in Khmer, bilingual picture dictionaries and other resources, along with teachers' guides (in Khmer) with detailed lessons for the use of these materials in the classroom.

“By 2013, 43 bilingual schools across the five north-eastern provinces had been established with 196 bilingual teachers serving 3,531 students from four indigenous ethnic minority groups (Tampuen, Kreung, Bunong, and Kavet).”

CARE continues to work with ethnic minority communities in the north-east of Cambodia with a strong focus on promoting the rights of ethnic minority women.

This work has been possible with the support of the Australian Government and many private donors.

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