Education in Cambodia

The 2014-2018 Education Strategic Plan (ESP) was appraised and endorsed in 2013. The mid-term review (MTR) of the sector plan was conducted in 2016, and serves as the updated ESP. The MTR includes updated strategies, actions, indicator targets, and a financial projection until 2020. A full education sector analysis is planned for this year and the next ESP will be launched in 2019.

The local education group called the Joint Technical Working Group for Education is comprised of the ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the following development partners: Asian Development Bank; European Union; Japan International Cooperation Agency; Korea International Cooperation Agency; NGO Education Partnership; UNESCO; UNICEF; SIDA; World Bank; World Food Program; and USAID.

Blogs and news

Students in front of Wat Bo Primary School, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Credit: GPE/Chor Sokunthea
November 15, 2018
The government in Cambodia, the EU and other partners, including GPE, launched a new phase of the Capacity Development Partnership Fund aimed at strengthening the country's education sector.
Ms. But Chantheavy from the Primary Education Department demonstrates the use of picture cards, Cambodia. Credit: Liesbeth Roolvink.
October 31, 2018
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia just launched a campaign to improve early education. The program, funded by GPE to the tune of US$20.6 million, will target early grade...
Trainers conducted several mini-lessons using the new materials. One group discusses an exercise in the student book while another group helps the students write the letter in the air. On the sits Chea Samnang, an award winning first grade teacher. Credit: Liesbeth Roolvink
October 30, 2018
A new program supported by a GPE grant aims to ensure quality education through continuous professional development for teachers, particularly in the early grades.

Latest grant

Srei in class at the Agthlork Reang Sey School. March 2015.

CREDIT: GPE/Livia Barton
Development objective: Improve the quality of primary education, especially for children from disadvantaged groups, and foster effective leadership and management of education staff
Grant agent:UNESCO and UNICEF

The results of Cambodia’s program (GPE 3) will be achieved through two distinct components: a fixed component of US$14.4 million, which supports the strengthening teacher education program in Cambodia (STEPCam), and a variable component of US$6.2 million that is linked to the achievement of specific results to improve education equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.

STEPCam supports the implementation of the teacher policy action plan 2015-2020, and focuses on continuous professional development of early grade teachers and their trainers. Most of the program targets 30 districts in 5 northern provinces where a high-level of grade 1 repetition and primary dropout rates is observed.

The STEPCam components are:

  • Component 1: Improve teachers' professional practices by supporting the development and operationalization of a capacity development partnership framework and management system.
  • Component 2: Support the implementation of the in-service education and training to improve the teaching capacities of primary schools’ teachers in early grade learning.
  • Component 3: Reinforce the qualifications of teacher trainers at the provincial teacher training colleges (PTTCs).
  • Component 4: Support the renovation of the PTTCs to enable them to provide high-quality in-service education and training
  • Component 5: Cover MOEYS institutional costs to facilitate successful implementation of the program
  • Component 6: Cover the identified costs for the UNESCO Cambodia office to act as the grant agent.

The variable component will be delivered through the capacity development partnership fund, a multi-partner fund which helps strengthen capacities in policy development, planning, and financing.

This component will also support the strengthening of the ministry’s financial and HR systems, by supporting the financial management information system, budget formulation, as well as the human resource management information system.

The equity dimension of the variable part aims to strengthen the existing scholarship program to reduce the primary dropout rate. Through the development of a new primary scholarship framework, it will ensure that the most vulnerable children are targeted.

The efficiency dimension aims to strengthen the school as the primary service delivery unit by increasing the capacity of school principals to implement school-based management effectively.

The learning outcomes dimension aims to improve learning in early grades by strengthening teaching capacities and practices.

While the equity dimension will be national, the efficiency and learning dimensions will target districts with low repetition and dropout rates.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2018-2021 20,600,000 2,439,485 UNESCO/UNICEF  
2014-2017 38,500,000 38,500,000 IBRD Completion report
2008-2012 57,360,856 57,360,856 IBRD Completion report
Sector plan development 2016 61,945 - UNICEF  
2013 226,682 - UNESCO  
Program development 2016 154,325 - UNESCO  
2013 200,000 156,216 IBRD  
  TOTAL 117,103,808 98,456,557    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Cambodia. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated September 11, 2018