PHNOM PENH, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has approved a grant of 20.6 million U.S. dollars in support of Cambodia's efforts to improve the quality of primary education, according to a GPE press release on Thursday.
The third consecutive grant will particularly benefit children from disadvantaged groups and will foster effective teaching, leadership and management skills of education staff, including teachers, school principals, as well as local and national education service providers, the release said.
Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodian Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, welcomed the renewed partnership, saying children from disadvantaged groups would be better placed to learn and develop.
"This new, additional GPE support will allow us to broaden and deepen our pool of qualified teachers, giving more children from the most disadvantaged groups the conditions they need to learn and prosper," he said.
The release said 14.4 million dollars will be given to the strengthening teacher education program in Cambodia, which will target early grade teachers of primary education and teacher trainers at provincial teacher training centers. The remaining 6.2 million dollars will be used to improve the education equity, efficiency and learning outcome program.
"Cambodia, a GPE partner since 2006, has demonstrated how continuous commitment to education makes a country stronger and more equitable for more children," said GPE's Chief Executive Officer Alice Albright.
"Through this third consecutive grant, GPE will help accelerate the country's remarkable record of educational progress," she said.
The release said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is GPE's grant agent in Cambodia for the strengthening teacher education program, while the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is the grant agent for the education equity, efficiency and learning outcome program.
It added that both agents will support Cambodia's Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to carry out the programs.
Cambodia's education system has made steady and encouraging progress in recent years, the release said, adding that its net enrollment rate for primary education increased from 87 percent in 2001 to 94 percent in 2015, and enrollment in early childhood education across the country grew by almost 2.5 times between 2005 and 2015.
It added that Cambodia's primary repetition rate declined from 12 percent to less than 7 percent between 2005 and 2015. However, the repetition rate for grade 1 is still high at 11.6 percent.