Education is regarded by each country in the world as an important field in ensuring the development of human resources to meet national needs. Societies and nations need continuous human resources development. It is a common world trend that reform is an important task to ensure the improvement of the quality of education.
The development of the school curriculum is at the core of this effort to improve the quality and efficiency of education. The establishment of a policy for curriculum development is a necessary task to provide a guide for the development of the school curriculum.
School Curriculum for General Education
The Policy for Curriculum Development for general education (Grades 1-12) has been initiated and developed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS). It is produced by MoEYS at the time when Cambodia is moving a head in all respects- economic, social and cultural.
It is intended that the policy will contribute to over all government plans and targets, including the Second Cambodian Socio-economic Development Plan, the Governmental Poverty Alleviation Strategies, the Education for All (EFA) for 2003-2015, the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) and the Education Sector Support Program (ESSP) and so on.
This Curriculum Policy is also a response to the demands of globalization, regionalization and individualization. The policy will contribute to equitable access in Basic Education, will expand publicprivate education partnership for high quality secondary education and increase accountability in developing standards in three school levels (primary, lower and upper secondary education).
Key features of the 1996 Core Curriculum have been upgraded and improved. For example, the curriculum policy establishes teaching time allocation, provide time in a curriculum for a Local Life Skill Program (LLSP) and offers subject choice selection for Grades 11 and 12 students by adding learning hours for each subject and students learn less subjects than before.
This policy is designed for a period of five years, 2005-2009 and will be reviewed in 2009 for another five years, for the period 2010-2014 in order to reflect the development of the country.
The MoEYS hopes that this Curriculum Policy is a useful resource for teachers, school directors, educational officers, parents, scientists, researchers and other stakeholders. The MoEYS believes that all educational institutions, local community, Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs), International Organizations (IOs) and other stakeholders will cooperate and support the implementation of this policy.
School Curriculum for Higher Education
Higher education was one of the areas most severely affected by the events of recent years. Despite an unstable political situation. The Cambodian Government throughout the 1980's reestablished its institutions of higher education. A network of 9 public higher education institutions have been established which provide for instruction in areas such as agriculture, medicine, economics, industry, technology, teacher training, science, art and culture. A further fifteen technical and professional training institutions (specialized secondary schools) also offer tertiary level courses lasting for periods of 2 to 3 years for upper secondary school graduates. All higher education institutions providing degree programs are public. Although Cambodia is economically weak, higher education is almost completely free. Students, whether poor or rich, pay nothing for tuition. Apart from a recently established private university providing degree programmes, there are a few private institutions providing tertiary level courses which are non-degree programs. For higher education, the curriculum policy is developed by individual educational institution.