Education is one of the key drivers of individual and societal transformation. As a core component of its mission, UNESCO channels its efforts to ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality education and learning opportunities for all across the globe. In Cambodia, since the 1990s, UNESCO has been a catalyst for advancing the education for all agenda supporting institutional and professional technical capacity development to plan, implement, and manage the education agenda.
Continuing its support to Cambodia, and in coordination with the Royal Government, national development partners, and civil society organisations, UNESCO’s assistance in the education sector during 2019-2023 is in the following areas:
- Coordinating sector-wide policy, planning, and management of the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2019-2023, the guiding national education framework.
- Developing and implementing the Education 2030 Roadmap and accompanying National Strategy for Development of Education Statistics (NSDES)
- Supporting the country’s Teacher Reform Agenda, through Strengthening Teacher Education Programmes in Cambodia (STEPCam).
- Promoting lifelong learning and supporting adult literacy through the Factory Literacy Project.
- Supporting out-of-school youth to complete lower-secondary education though the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP).
- Institutionalizing quality assurance in higher education
The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represents a significant step forward in the recognition of the contribution of Natural Sciences to sustainable development. UNESCO contributes to the overall implementation of Sustainable Development Goals through its Natural Sciences programme by providing policy assistance to support the Kingdom of Cambodia in strengthening its scientific and technological capacity, in designing effective policies, and to enhance the natural resource and sustainable development accomplishments.
UNESCO Phnom Penh Office’s primary objectives are to conserve and protect the natural resources, to mobilize scientific knowledge and to promote science education for the sustainable development of Cambodia through:
- Strengthening the role of Biosphere Reserves as learning places for sustainable development
- Fostering policies and capacity building in Science, Technology and Innovation for sustainable development
- Promoting Education for Sustainable Development
- Supporting Sustainability Science towards Sustainable Development
Since 2014, the Royal Government’s National Culture Policy is guiding UNESCO’s activities in the field of Culture. UNESCO had originally assisted the Royal Government in establishing the policy to achieve a balance between the conservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and the support to creative industries.Culture in Cambodia has after a long period of civil strife, reconstruction and structural change in society, again become a vibrant part of life. This trend is not only expressed in an increasing number of government initiatives and a continuously growing tourism industry focusing on heritage, but also in the number of classical and modern performances
and a successful contemporary art scene. In this respect, this past biennium has seen strengthened and increased variety of cooperation between the Royal Government, Civil Society, NGOs, and UNESCO in the field of Culture.
As major achievements, the Chapei Dong Veng was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in November 2016 and Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2017.
Communication and Information
Freedom of expression and information is the cornerstone on which democratic societies are built. Independent, free and pluralistic media have a crucial role to play in governance of democratic societies by ensuring transparency and accountability, promoting participation and the rule of law, and contributing to the fight against poverty.UNESCO assists the country in working towards a free and open press and media through legislative and policy support, capacity building programmes and advocacy.
UNESCO’s Communication and Information sector bases its work on the promotion and defence of human rights and basic freedoms, and aims to raise awareness of freedom of expression and freedom of information.
UNESCO provides and strengthens communication and information facilities at the local community level. In addition to the regular programme, the Communication and Information Unit implements various projects in collaboration with other UN agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations, public institutions and the local authorities.