Today marks the national launch of Cambodia’s Lifelong Learning Policy, officially endorsed by Samdech Prime Minister Techo Hun Sen last June. The launch, a collaboration between UNESCO and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), took place in Phnom Penh and brought together over 120 participants from technical departments of MoEYS and concerned Ministries, development partners, and NGOs.
With the contribution of CapED funding, UNESCO supported the Department of Non-Formal Education to update Khmer and Maths textbooks for the Community Literacy Programme. These new textbooks are the foundation of Cambodia’s national Lifelong Learning Policy and respond to the needs and priorities identified in the Education 2030 SDG 4 Roadmap and Education Strategic Plan for 2019-2030.
Development of the national Lifelong Learning Policy was done through an inclusive and highly participatory approach. The Policy identifies clear strategies for accomplishing Cambodia’s goals on Lifelong Learning, starting with developing and strengthening legislative frameworks to ensure that the right to education is granted to all people regardless of gender, social or economic background. Cambodians will have greater opportunities for further vocational and TVET education through the recognition and accreditation of prior learning. Most importantly, the Lifelong Learning Policy is about promoting a culture of good citizenship, gender equality, equity, and inclusion so that all groups can gain access to lifelong learning opportunities. Drop-out students, vulnerable groups, ethnic minority groups, migrant workers, unemployed, and marginalized groups are a top priority.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, UNESCO Representative to Cambodia, recommended to translate the policy into sectoral strategic plans to ensure continued availability of financing, full ownership, and clear mechanisms for implementation. He encouraged the Ministry to identify clear roles and responsibilities for actors across all levels of government, as well as coordination mechanisms for collaborating with the private sector, NGOs, and other development partners.