Strategic Evaluation Report Education for Ethnic Minorities Program: Cambodia

Publication Date: 20190901

Since 2002, CARE1 has worked in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and other stakeholders such as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to develop and implement a multi-lingual education (MLE) model within the Education for Ethnic Minorities (EEM) program. The total amount of funding contributed to this Program since 2002 is AUD17.5million by 24 donors, not including donations from the Australian public.
The MLE model aims to increase ethnolinguistic minority children’s access to, and the quality of, primary and secondary education. Ethnolinguistic minorities (hereafter referred to as ethnic minorities) are groups of people who share a culture and/or ethnicity and/or language that distinguishes them from other groups of people and are either fewer in terms of number or less prestigious in terms of power than the dominant groups in the state. In Cambodia, ethnic minority groups are generally located in the five highland provinces of north-eastern Cambodia – Kratie, Mondul Kiri, Preah Vihear, Ratanak Kiri, and Stung Treng. There are 20 ethnic minority spoken languages across these five provinces. Brao, Bunong, Kavet, Kreung and Tampeun2 are used as the L1 of the MLE program in the relevant provinces, with Jarai and Kuy in the process of being adopted (Ball and Smith, 2018).
CARE’s mother tongue MLE model using ethnic minority languages and Khmer was piloted in Ratanak Kiri beginning in 2003 after a year’s preparations and has been expanded to four additional north-eastern provinces (Mondul Kiri, Stung Treng, Kratie, and Preah Vihear) under the government’s Multilingual Education National Action Plan (MENAP 2015-2018). In recent years, CARE shifted from its original role as direct implementer to that of a technical advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia. The program is unprecedented internationally as having gone from a successful community-based initiative run by community school management committees and using community-selected teachers, to being institutionalized as part of government policy for improving access to and quality of education for ethnic minority learners.

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