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Cambodia: Bilingual education offers opportunities to indigenous communities
The Cambodian government has established Khmer language schools in the highland provinces of Rattanakiri, and Mondulkiri. However, minority people in these provinces are failing to gain a good education in the government system, mostly because many of them do not understand Khmer, the national language and medium of instruction. This has resulted in successive generations growing up illiterate and unable to speak the national language.
The linguistic barrier is the foremost challenge to accessing development and education by ethnic minorities such as the Tampuen, Kreung,Jarai, Kachok, Kavet and Brou. Very few people, especially women and children from the ethnic minority communities speak the national language, which is Khmer.
To address the needs of disadvantaged ethnic minority groups the Bilingual Education Project was piloted by CARE and International Cooperation Cambodia to provide the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport with a model for the delivery of basic education in remote areas of Cambodia to highland minority peoples “through the establishment of community schools targeting girls and boys who have never enrolled or who have dropped out of the formal system”.
This video provides more information about the project in Mondulkiri Province: