- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The Education Law 2007 (which governs all education levels in Cambodia) refers to “private educational institutions” as “educational institutions administered by private individuals, associations, or non-governmental organizations”. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia 1993 similarly refers to “private educational institutions” as educational institutions which are non-state (Article 67).
According to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia (1993), the state is obliged to provide free and compulsory education to its citizens for 9 years (Article 68), starting from primary (1st Phumaseksar, ages 6-11) to lower secondary level (2nd Phumaseksar, ages 12-14), while upper secondary level (ages 15-17) remains free in all state schools. During these years, most education in the 2020/2021 academic year (91.2% of schools, 93.6% of total enrolment) is provided by state schools in Cambodia, with particular prevalence in rural areas where education at primary and secondary levels is almost exclusively provided by the state (98% of schools, 99% of total enrolment). Khmer is the official language of instruction in state schools (Article 24), while Buddhism is considered the state religion developed as part of the general knowledge in the curriculum, without forcing learners to participate (Article 33).
Non-state managed, state schools
According to the New Generation School Operational Policy Guidelines 2019 certain state schools in Cambodia (known as New Generation Schools) have been granted increased autonomy to encourage innovation through greater operational autonomy (modifications to national curriculum and pedagogical innovations) and devolved administration (controlled by the National Oversight Board, eventually aiming to devolve to Local Oversight Boards). The National Oversight Board reflects a “public-private partnership” model, with members comprised of “non-state actors and the private sector”, including representatives from NGOs, businesses, and local communities. These schools (7 in 2019) are funded by the state with the assistance of non-state actors such as development partners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private organizations, and foundations. According to the Policy Guidelines, New General Schools are defined as “schools of choice” (influenced by the “charter school model”), where students from any part of the province can enrol to attend and are selected based on a lottery or entrance examinations. Schools to become New Generation Schools are selected based on “highest potential to utilize high investment effectively” and continue to remain state schools (with a strict requirement to remain non-profit and reinvest all resources into school services). New Generation Schools are prohibited from charging tuition fees in the first years of operation, with increased flexibility to charge fees on a “voluntary basis” after 3 years (with poor students being exempt from paying). According to the Education Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023, the government plans to “strengthen and expand (the) New Generation School model” and further enforce concept-based curricula, student-centered learning, and partnerships with non-state actors in school management.
According to Cambodia’s Public Education Statistics and Indicators 2020-2021, regular state schools (particularly in rural areas) may also receive some funding from local communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations, although it is not made clear exactly what funding is provided.
Non-state funded, state schools
No information was found.
Independent, non-state schools
Private schools are independent non-state schools which are established, funded, and managed by private individuals, NGOs, or associations and charge tuition fees for student attendance. While non-state provision in primary and secondary education levels in Cambodia is overall minor compared to state provision (8.8% of schools, 6.4% of total enrolments), provision is significantly higher in urban areas (where 41% of all schools are private, covering 23% of total enrolments) and upper secondary level (22% of schools). Whereas the language of instruction in all state schools is Khmer, private schools are free to operate in other languages. These schools can mainly be categorized into schools in which the language of instruction is Khmer (86%), non-Khmer language schools (English, Chinese, Muslim, French, Vietnamese), and religious schools (including Buddhist monastic schools and Islamic religious schools). As part of the non-Khmer language schools, Cambodia has a number of international schools which follow international curricula and examination systems such as International Baccalaureate (5 schools) or Cambridge (16 schools).
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
No information was found.
Contracted, non-state schools
While no information could be found on contracted non-state schools in Cambodia, the Education Law 2007 allows for “public and private artificial persons and natural persons...to enter into contracts or agreements with the manager of (an) educational establishment to develop the education sector”. All contracts or agreements must be made in accordance with existing laws and regulations and “serve the full purpose of the educational establishment”.
While no information was found regarding the extent of homeschooling in Cambodia, during the COVID-19 school closures in March 2020, the MoEYS issued a directive on the implementation of home-based distance learning from pre-primary to upper secondary level to be applied in all state and private schools. Through partnerships with NGOs, civil society, and the private sector, the MoEYS developed distance learning content through online platforms, television and radio broadcasts, and paper-based learning material. To ensure inclusivity, efforts were made to integrate Cambodian sign language, as well as to reach ethnic minority communities in distant areas.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
No information was found.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia 1993 declares that “the state governs public and private educational institutions and classrooms in all school districts” in Cambodia (Article 67). According to the Education Law 2007, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), along with the provincial and district offices (Article 15), are responsible for controlling and regulating all education in Cambodia (both state and non-state, Article 67), from pre-primary to tertiary level through five separate departments. The Early Childhood Education Department is responsible for early childhood education, the Primary Education Department supervises primary schools, the General Secondary Education Department manages secondary schools, and the Department of Higher Education monitors tertiary education institutions. Finally, the Education Quality Assurance Department monitors the implementation of the national education standard at all education levels. The Ministry of Cult and Religion (MoCR) is also responsible for religious education although its role in governing religious education remains unclear.
Besides the MoEYS which governs education at the national level, the administration and management of education is further divided into the provincial or municipal level (25 Provincial Offices for Education) and the District or Khan level (127 District Offices for Education). The Provincial and District Offices for Education are directly responsible for the administration (including the registration, verification, and inspection) of non-state educational institutions from pre-primary to secondary level.
Vision: The government of Cambodia strongly promotes the participation of non-state actors in the education system. According to the Education Strategic Plan 2019-23, the government ““encourage(s) the private sector to contribute to education provision” in addition to promoting a public-private partnership model which “strengthen(s) cooperation between schools and development partners, communities, charities and the private sector”. Similarly, the Education 2030 Roadmap for Sustainable Development Goal 4 promotes increased non-state involvement in education based on the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy Phase IV 2018-23 which strongly encourages “private sector development”. As stated by a spokesperson for the MoEYS when referring to the increasing opportunities for secondary school students to study abroad, “the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports welcomed the positive collaboration of all stakeholders to contribute to reform of Education, Youth and Sports. The private sector has an important role to play in improving the quality of education at all levels”.
Early childhood care and education (ECCE) in Cambodia broadly covers ages 0 – 6, with nearly all (97%) provision in the 3 – 5 age group. ECCE services can be provided in centers, at homes, in monk’s shelters, in primary schools, or (in the case of flooded areas) can be floating on water. Services are mainly categorized into state preschools (89% of services, 82% of total enrolments), private preschools (established, managed, and funded by private individuals, NGOs and civil society), and community preschools (established by local communities and additionally funded by development partners, philanthropists, and donors). The National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development 2010 plans on expanding ECCE provision in Cambodia (including community and private preschools) and ensuring the effective cooperation between all relevant stakeholders. While the ECCE level is governed by certain separate Prakas (declarations) and sub-decrees, most regulations are covered under the Education Law 2007 (with the exception of community preschools which are mostly governed by separate regulations).
Registration and approval: To establish a community preschool, applicants must apply for registration to the relevant Community/Sangkat Council, which will be approved by the Council if fulfilling all the minimum criteria, including adequate space, clean and safe toilets with drinkable water, and at least one outdoor playing area. According to the Sub-Decree on Community Kindergarten Management 2013, applicants can be physical persons, families, communities, local NGOs, or associations, which may establish a community preschool based on the status of ECCE provision in their locality (located in areas where it is difficult to access educational services). Community preschools are established based on a Memorandum of Understanding between a government representative and the applicant which clearly defines the program’s vision, action plan, and development plan. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
License: See Multi-level regulations.
Profit-making: No regulation was found.
Taxes and subsidies: According to the Sub-Decree on Community Kindergarten Management 2013, community preschools are eligible to receive monthly per-teacher state subsidies of 600,000 Riels (148,87 USD) for facility maintenance, staff salaries, and operational costs. Sangkat councils may provide additional funding to community preschool teachers according to the capabilities of each community/Sangkat administration.
Teaching profession: The MoEYS determines the conditions, procedures and mechanisms for selecting community preschool teachers, in addition to providing standardized teacher training classroom management and administration to community preschool educators. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Fee-setting: No information was found.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Policies for vulnerable groups: Policies to extend non-state education services to minority populations were only found in the case of community preschools through multi-lingual education programs and mobile preschools. According to the Multilingual Education Action Plan 2019-23, multilingual education programs were implemented in 104 community preschools with the aim to extend ECCE services to children from indigenous minority groups, including languages such as Tumpoun, Kroeng, Ponorng, Kouy, Kroalm, Kavet, Brao, Charay and Kachok. Moreover, seasonal and vehicle-based mobile preschool programs were implemented in indigenous areas that were far from community preschools to further reach indigenous populations. According to the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development 2010, civil society and development partners are strongly encouraged to provide assistance and support to ECCE programs which are developed to target poor and disadvantaged communities. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Reporting requirements: All community kindergartens are required to develop a detailed action plan and budget for the center’s continuous development (as part of a three-year investment program) which must be submitted to the relevant Community/Sangkat Council. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Inspection: See Multi-level regulations.
Child assessment: According to the Education Strategic Plan 2019-23, the government plans on developing a monitoring and assessment system for preschool children in accordance with the revised curriculum guidelines, which will monitor children’s performance based on specific indicators.
Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.
Registration and approval: See Multi-level regulations.
Licence: See Multi-level regulations.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): According to the School Health Policy published by the MoEYS, all private schools are required to develop school health regulations which must include basic healthcare services such as latrines or bathrooms (separated by sex and disability), clean water, and hand-washing facilities. The Education Strategic Plan 2019-2023 additionally set targets to increase the percentage of schools with access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities by 2030, which in 2018 ranged from 30% in pre-primary to 60% in upper secondary. Finally, the MoEYS endorsed the “Minimum Requirement Guidelines on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools” in 2016 which assesses school performance in providing access to clean water, latrines, and handwashing facilities.
Profit-making: Non-state schools can operate on a profit-making basis, with no explicit regulation found regarding profit-making.
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found regarding subsidies, grants, or state assistance to private primary and secondary schools. The Education Law 2007 only states that any persons, religious groups, families, communities, NGOs, or private institutes have the right to provide resources in any form of human capital towards the development of educational establishments.
Curriculum and education standards: See Multi-level regulations.
Textbooks and learning materials: No information was found.
Teaching profession: See Multi-level regulations.
Corporal punishment: Corporal punishment is prohibited in all state and private schools, as all learners have the right to be “free from any form of torture or from physical and mental punishment” (Education Law 2007. Art.35).
Other safety measures and COVID-19: In January 2020, the MoEYS issued a directive on strengthening the implementation of internal regulations in state and non-state educational institutions with the aim to reduce violence that can occur in educational institutions. In the directive, the MoEYS ordered the school management and student/youth councils to address any irregularities and recommended holding meetings with parents, guardians, and communities, in close collaboration with the educational institutions. The Office of Education and the Department of Education were additionally instructed to set the agenda and monitor the effectiveness of internal regulations and guidelines. According to the directive, “in the event that a student commits a wrongdoing, that student shall be punished in accordance with the internal regulations that are still in force”.
During the COVID-19 school closures in March 2020, all private educational institutions were required to provide distance learning (including distance examinations) to all students, with diplomas issued directly by each school (and subject to inspection by the MoEYS). Moreover, to lower the financial burden of the pandemic, the MoEYS called on the National Bank of Cambodia to consider lowering the interest rate of any land leases being paid by private institutions, as well as deferring payments.
Fee-setting: No information was found.
Admission selection and processes: The MoEYS provides free scholarships to children of lower socioeconomic status to attend state schools in primary and secondary education levels, with no policy found ensuring access to non-state schools.
Policies for vulnerable groups: See Multi-level regulations.
School board: See Multi-level regulations.
Reporting requirements: See Multi-level regulations.
School inspection: See Multi-level regulations.
Diplomas and degrees: The Education Law 2007 states that all learners who have fulfilled the study requirements of each establishment will be awarded certificates or diplomas.
Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.
Tertiary education, the third education level (3rd Phumasekar) in Cambodia, is the only education level where non-state provision is higher (68%) when compared to state provision. According to the Policy on Higher Education Vision 2030, the number of non-state (private) tertiary education institutions (TEIs) substantially increased following the adoption of a government policy in the 1990s which strongly encouraged non-state sector growth in tertiary education to assist the state in coping with the increased demand.
TEIs in Cambodia can mainly be categorized into universities and institutes, both of which are regulated by the MoEYS through the Education Law 2007 and several issued Prakas (declarations) and sub-decrees.
Registration and approval: Any legal private and/or physical personnel has the right to establish a non-state TEI in Cambodia once making an application to the MoEYS along with the required documents including a strategic plan, detailed curriculum, governance scheme, and teaching staff. Most registration requirements are the same for all institutions (irrespective of ownership), with non-state TEIs being additionally subject to the recognition sub-decree. Upon receiving the application, the Department of Higher Education evaluates the proposal and identifies the type of institution to be established (university or institute). The criteria for the establishment of a university include consisting of three colleges with at least two additional specializations, whereas the criteria for the establishment of an institute include consisting of one specialization or various subjects based on the list provided in the Sub-Decree on Criteria for the Establishment of University (2002). To be considered for registration, all institutions are additionally required to meet the minimum standards in location, land, space, physical equipment, infrastructure, and student-teacher ratio.
License: If approved, the TEI will be granted a license to operate by the MoEYS and will be subject to accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia (ACC) to be entitled to grant certificates.
Profit-making: No regulation was found.
Taxes and subsidies: Non-state TEIs have the right to lease state-owned lands and buildings for the establishment of a tertiary institution which is subject to a leasing fee agreed by both parties (Article 60). Non-state TEIs can additionally receive funding from the state, bilateral or multilateral organizations, or NGOs based on the research and quality education provided. Finally, according to the 2018 – 2024 Higher Education Improvement Project, eligible non-state TEIs may submit a proposal to the Department of Higher Education to be awarded full or phased state grants on a competitive basis that aim to improve institutional governance, as well as overall quality and teaching. Full grants cover a maximum budget of 1 million USD for 3 years, while phased grants (which are received in 2 phases) cover a maximum budget of 100,000 USD in the first 12 months.
Curriculum and education standards: The MoEYS advises all non-state TEIs to develop their curriculum according to the Cambodian National Qualifications Framework and prepare an academic program based on a credit system, which the Ministry regularly monitors.
Teaching profession: All TEIs in Cambodia (irrespective of ownership) are required to recruit academic staff based on pre-established criteria and principles and a lecturer-student ratio of 1:30. The MoEYS states that at least 25% of lecturers must be working full-time and teaching subjects based on their individual skills. All lecturers hired are additionally required to have obtained a higher education certificate that is at least one level higher than the level they teach or (if teaching at the same level) to have at least 3 years of professional experience. The list of lecturers in each TEI must be submitted to the MoEYS for evaluation every year
Fee-setting: According to Article 50 of the Royal Decree on Accreditation of Higher Education (2003), non-state TEIs bear the right to determine and receive tuition fees from students. There was no information found regarding limits to those fees in any relevant sub-decree of Prakas found.
Admission selection and processes: Non-state TEIs can offer scholarships to “outstanding” students, students under poor living conditions, or students studying a subject that the state considers a priority. The factors that are considered in the provision of each scholarship are gender equity, students living in remote areas, or students belonging to ethnic minorities. To ensure transparency, all TEIs must publish the list of students that have been granted scholarships each year. There was no information found on the number of scholarships provided or the student costs they are required cover.
Board: All non-state TEIs are required to have a Board of Directors which will be approved by the MoEYS and consist of five members including shareholders, lecturer representatives, and highly respected professionals in the education and management field. The Board of Directors in each institution is mainly responsible for budget, staff, and property management. According to the Education Law 2007, non-state TEIs in Cambodia are provided with high managerial autonomy based on principles of accountability and transparency.
Reporting requirements: For external quality assurance purposes, all non-state TEIs are required to submit annual reports to the ACC which include information on their budget, activities, staff, and programs. To ensure transparency, the results of these reports are then required to be posted as public information on their website each year. All non-state TEIs are additionally required to develop their own internal quality assurance units which conduct regular internal self-assessments of the overall management and programs offered.
Inspection: The Accreditation Committee of Cambodia (ACC) and the Education Quality Assurance Department are responsible for monitoring the quality of non-state TEIs. According to the Sub-Decree on Organization and Functioning of Ministry of Education Youth and Sport Royal Government of Cambodia, the General Directorate of the Education Quality Assurance Department is responsible for monitoring whether all educational institutions (including TEIs) conform to the required criteria and standards. However, no information was found on exact inspection processes or how often they take place. The Prakas on Conditions and Detail Criteria on the Establishment of Higher Educational Institutes similarly states that the performance of non-state TEIs will be monitored and evaluated by the MoEYS without specifying any inspection procedure.
Assessment: No regulation was found on the assessment processes undertaken by non-state TEIs in Cambodia. The Education Law 2007 only states that “examinations shall be conducted with fairness and justice”, with fraudulent examinations strictly prohibited.
Diplomas and degrees: Any non-state TEI offering Bachelor degrees in Cambodia is required to apply for accreditation with the ACC within three months of operation to be entitled to award certificates. To be considered for accreditation, TEIs must submit a detailed strategic plan, their Board of Directors membership, and their annual financial activities. The ACC will then provide temporary accreditation, which after three years (if fulfilling the high educational standards set out by the ACC) will receive full accreditation.
Sanctions: If any non-state TEI is found to be in violation of existing regulations on licensing, issuance of diplomas, advertisements, examinations, or religious freedom, the MoEYS may apply sanctions that range from fines and/or imprisonment to the suspension or cancellation of the institution’s educational license (depending on the violation). Similar to other non-state establishments in Cambodia, if a non-state TEI is found to be operating without a valid license, the owner will be subject to a fine of 2 million (496,25 USD) to 10 million Riels (2481,24 USD).
This section covers regulations on the establishment, operation, and quality of non-state institutions from pre-primary to upper secondary education level in Cambodia. While the MoEYS issues certain sub-decrees and guidelines that may be specific to a particular education level, the majority of regulations concerning these levels are covered in the Education Law 2007.
Registration and approval: According to the Education Law 2007, all private educational establishments from pre-primary to upper secondary level are required to be registered and licensed by the MoEYS, with religious schools additionally required to be registered with the Ministry of Cult and Religion. Some smaller schools in Cambodia can also register with the One Window Service Offices located in some municipal/district administrations. Private legal entities and/or natural persons may establish a private educational institution by applying to their relevant municipality (through the Provincial Office for Education) or District Education Office and paying the required registration fee (with different service fees depending on the program offered). The minimum registration requirements additionally differ for schools which adopt the national curriculum and those that follow international curricula and examination systems, with the latter being allowed to be established by legal foreigners and subject to different registration fees.
Curriculum and education standards: There is no legal requirement for non-state educational establishments to follow a specific curriculum. While non-Khmer language schools are free to follow an international curriculum (provided that they include Khmer as a compulsory subject), the MoEYS has developed a curriculum framework which is compulsory for state educational establishments (and followed by non-state Khmer schools). The main components of the curriculum framework (revised in 2015) are education for peace, education for sustainable development, and developing students’ core competencies in literacy and numeracy, creative thinking, foreign languages, and communication. Religious schools are advised to follow the national curriculum, with the ability to provide supplementary religious instruction (Buddhist or non-Buddhist).
Teaching profession: According to the Education Law 2007, all teachers in educational establishments from pre-primary to upper secondary level (in both state and non-state institutions) are required to undergo professional pedagogical training recognized and provided by the MoEYS. In 2015, all teachers were additionally required to have at least an upper secondary education certificate to be eligible to teach in pre-primary to upper secondary schools. Teachers in private educational institutions are subject to the Sub-Decree on Ethics Code for the Teaching Profession 2008 (similar to teachers in state institutions) and “have other rights and obligations as stipulated by the existing Labor Law”. The Labor Law 1997 applies to workers in all sectors (whether state or non-state) who have “signed an employment contract in return for renumeration regardless of where the contract was made”. The Law includes provisions on general working conditions (Chapter VI), such as a guaranteed minimum wage, overtime payments, and working hours.
Policies for vulnerable groups: While the Child Friendly School Policy 2007 aims to “ensure and support all children, especially children in difficult circumstances, (children of poor families, girls, orphan children, child victims of domestic violence, disabled children, ethnic minority children, children affected by drugs, children affected by HIV/AIDS and other diseases) have access to schooling with equity”, there was no policy found ensuring this equitable access to non-state schools specifically (but only state schools).
Board: While no specific guidelines on the requirement to implement a school-based management structure were found, the government of Cambodia strongly encourages the adoption of school-based management structures in all schools at pre-primary, primary and secondary education level, which includes the establishment of School Management Committees comprised of parents, teachers, local authorities, and community members with the aim to strengthen school “autonomy and accountability”. According to the MoEYS Goals for the Academic Year 2018-19, the MoEYS has been training relevant stakeholders in the implementation of school-based management practices and plans to develop guidelines on the establishment of School Management Committees. The Child Friendly School Policy 2007 additionally aims to enhance the active participation of communities, families and students in school management, with the aim for schools to become increasingly “child friendly”.
Reporting requirements: All non-state educational institutions are required to establish internal assessment mechanisms to monitor the quality of education in the establishment and recommend measures for improvement (which must be made open for public participation). This includes the development and implementation of a School Improvement Plan (through consultations with parents, students, group chiefs, community councils, village chiefs and other stakeholders) that must be submitted for evaluation to the relevant District Office for Education.
Inspection: The Education Quality Assurance Department (under the MoEYS) is responsible for ensuring the quality of education in all schools in Cambodia (irrespective of ownership). The General Directorate of the Education Quality Assurance Department is responsible for external school inspections and monitors whether schools continue to fulfil the National Education Standards, National Capacity Standards, and National Training Standards (with no specific information found on the regularity of these inspections). Finally, the Inspectorate of Administration and Finance oversees and inspects the staff hired in non-state establishments.
Internal inspections are usually undertaken by school principals and District Training and Monitoring Teams comprised of District Education officials and school management committees.
Sanctions: The Education Law 2007 authorizes the MoEYS to apply various sanctions to all schools in Cambodia (state and non-state) if any institution is found to be violating regulations in terms of the validity of an educational license, type of education provided, issuance of diplomas, examinations, advertisements, or religious freedom. The sanctions can range from fines and/or imprisonment to the suspension or cancellation of the institution’s educational license (depending on the type of violation). For example, if an internal or external inspection discovers “incorrect educational process” in the issuance of diplomas or degrees, the owner of the establishment will be subject upon conviction to a fine of 2 million (496,25 USD) to 6 million Riels (1488,74 USD) and imprisonment for 1-3 years. Moreover, if any educational establishment is found to be operating without a valid license, the owner will be subject to a fine of 2 million (496,25 USD) to 10 million Riels (2481,24 USD). If convicted for a second time under unlawful operation, the original fine will be doubled.
Supplementary private tuition is a widespread phenomenon at all education levels in Cambodia, with participation rates ranging from 20% for primary school students, 57% for lower secondary school students, to 75% for upper secondary students according to a study conducted in 2019. The four main types of private tutoring are Rean Kuo (extra study), Rean Kuo Pel Vissmakkal (extra study during holidays), Rean Kuo Pises (extra special study), and Sala Akchoan private (tutoring) schools. Rean Kuo (the most common form) is teachers engaging in extra study classes with their own students after school hours in school buildings or their homes. Rean Kuo Pel Vissmakkal is private tutoring lessons during summer breaks and Rean Kuo Pises (considered the most expensive form) refers to remedial lessons held by state school teachers (either one-on-one or in small groups) with students from their own class which tend to replace formal schooling altogether. Finally, Sala Akchoan are private schools that become test preparation centres each night as students prepare for national or university entrance examinations.
The private tutoring market in Cambodia is dominated by teachers/and or schools (not extensive tutoring enterprises) and mainly regulated in terms of operational hours and teachers by the MoEYS, particularly through the New Generation School model.
According to the Instructions on Applying for an Education License to Open a Private General Education Institution, any private educational institutions that provide “training and foreign language courses” are required to be registered and licensed by their District Education Office (under the jurisdiction of the MoEYS). Private tutoring centers operating as separate entities are registered as private business entities subject to commercial legislation under the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The fees charged for private tutoring services include payments to teachers in exchange for private tutoring lessons organized by the school or the teacher with the aim to supplement regular school instruction. These fees (often referred to as “informal”) are not regulated by the MoEYS. However, according to the New Generation School Operational Policy Guidelines 2019, the MoEYS aims to “abolish all unofficial fees that most affect the poor” in New Generation Schools, which include fees collected from private tutoring services within schools. New Generation Schools are specifically given the autonomy to extend their teaching hours and reduce class sizes in an effort to address additional “informal” classroom instruction provided by private tutoring classes on school premises, respond to community needs, and encourage school innovation. If any Generation School is found to be providing private tutoring classes, the institution may lose its accreditation status (leading to the withdrawal of government funding).
Both state and private school teachers are prohibited from engaging in private tuition classes on school premises during school hours with students from their own class according to Article 13 of the Sub-Decree on Ethics Code for the Teaching Profession (2008), which states that “teachers shall not raise money or collect informal fees or run any business inside the class”. The New General School model additionally aims to “abolish current practices of private tutoring to one’s own students that undermine standards of professionalism and dignity among teachers” and prohibits private tutoring by teachers. Despite these prohibitions, private tuition is sometimes tolerated in Cambodia due to low wages, which teachers attempt to supplement through fee-paying private tutoring classes.