Evaluation of the state of multilingual education in Cambodia: new research highlights CARE’s contri
A new publication documents the progress of multilingual education in Cambodia and CARE’s contributions.
Evaluation of the state of multilingual education in Cambodia takes a close look at the work done in the ethnically diverse country.
Cambodia is home to an estimated 23 minority language groups with indigenous populations making up the majority of the population in Ratanak Kiri and Mondul Kiri provinces. Educational outcomes for ethnic minority communities are significantly lower than the national language. Multilingual education has aimed to close the gap, providing ethnic minority students an education in their own language and slowly introducing them to the national language of Khmer.
With the previous evaluation conducted in 2011, the publication notes the significant advances that have been made within a short number of years, in particular the progress in handing over to the Ministry, preparing core trainers to take over training and the expansion of multilingual education.
The review also notes the developments in the Multilingual Education National Action Plan, and highlights the need for capacity building for teachers, learning and teaching material, coordination of data and converting community schools into state schools.
“What began as a community-based bilingual education approach in Ratanak Kiri province is being integrated on an ongoing basis into official MoEYS policy and practice. Significant progress has been made since the 2011 evaluation. This is an important accomplishment for CARE, the Ministry and UNICEF as well as other partners, and it provides a highly useful model for efforts in other multilingual countries.”
“Overall, we saw an increase in female representation among teachers in the classroom, and continuous professional and friendly interaction between students and teachers that enhanced communication and learning by using learners’ own languages.”
It also commended how community teachers had been promoted to contract teacher status and CARE’s approach to community and structural development.
CARE has been working in the field of multilingual education in Cambodia for more than a decade with the support of the Australian government and many other private donors.