All children have the right to learn, whatever their circumstances. Adequate support to learning is crucial for them to develop to their full potential. However, in Cambodia many girls and boys are falling behind, particularly those who live in poor rural and urban areas.
Cambodia has made terrific progress in educating its children. Since 2007, the number of children enrolled in preschool programmes has more than doubled. The number of children enrolled in primary education has increased from 82 per cent in 1997 to over 97 per cent in school year 2017/18.
While progress is tangible, children in Cambodia are still failing to reach learning standards appropriate for their age. At the primary level, nearly 25 per cent of children in Grade 3 cannot write a single word in a dictation test. Only 27 per cent of 3- to 5-year-olds are developmentally on track in literacy and numeracy, and by the time they are 17 years old, 55 per cent of adolescents will have dropped out of school.