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Promoting Access to Primary Education

Many vulnerable children do not have access to primary school, and those who do are often unable to continue past grade 4 or 5. Children face strong economic and social pressures to join the labor market, pressures which increase, as they grow older – often forcing them from school and denying them their full potential.

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Stung Meanchey Dumpsite: Education opportunities promoted to child garbage pickers on the dumpsite

The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports have an ‘Education Sector Support Program (2004-2008)’ which aims to address the major issues in Cambodia’s education sector. Activities are directed at constructing or renovating schools in remote areas and providing schools with an operational budget to ensure that children do not need to pay to enroll. Unfortunately however the most vulnerable children in the community are not usually known to social services, largely because communities and schools are not well connected.

Scholarship Children
Scholarship Children receiving school uniforms and kits

The Vulnerable Children’s Assistance Schools Program (VCASP) will work closely with public school head teachers, teachers, and the wider community to ensure that the most vulnerable children have access to the ministry’s priority action programs. Vulnerable children are identified by public school administrators and communities, and provided with the opportunity, support, and encouragement they need to complete their primary education.
Those needs not met by the ministry’s programs will be addressed through the other program operations of the VCASP.