The hierarchy of administration and management of education in Cambodia consist of 4 levels which are (1) the national or central level, (2) the provincial or municipal level, (3) the district or Khan level and (4) the educational institution level. The structure of the hierarchy of administration and management of education is stipulated in a separate regulation.
Complying with the policy of the Royal Government on human resource development, which stipulates: "The main approach for human resource development is to develop human resources with good health, knowledge and a high level of culture…"
Vocational and technical training education cover all professions and skills provided by public and private technical and vocational education and training institutions, enterprises, communities, family or in co-operation between technical and vocational education and training institutions and enterprises and/or communities and family.
Secondary Education in Cambodia is the the second level (2nd Phumaseksar) of education comprised of grade 7 (seven) to grade 12 (twelve). The secondary education consists of 2 (two) phases: phase 1 (one) is the lower secondary education comprising grade 7 (seven) to grade 9 (nine), and phase 2 (two) is the upper secondary school comprising grade 10 (ten) to grade 12 (twelve).
Primary education or the first level (1st Phumaseksar) of education comprised of grade 1(one) to grade 6 (six) of the formal education program or the equivalent level of education.
The Primary education was divided into two cycles of three years each, was carried out in state-run and temple-run schools. Successful completion of a final state examination led to the award of a certificate after each cycle. The primary education curriculum consisted of arithmetic, history, ethics, civics, drafting, geography, hygiene, language, and science. In addition, the curriculum included physical education and manual work. French language instruction began in the second year. Khmer was the language of instruction in the first cycle, but French was used in the second cycle and thereafter. By the early 1970s, Khmer was used more widely in primary education. In the 1980s, primary school ran from the first to the fourth grade. Theoretically one primary school served each village.
By government definition: “An international school is an educational institution providing an international curriculum or international curriculum which its subject’s detail has been adjusted or a self-organized curriculum, which is not the Ministry of Education’s. A foreign language is used as the medium of teaching and learning and students are enrolled without restriction or limitation on nationality or religion or government regime, and are not against the morality or stability of Cambodia.” The curriculum is required to be approved by the Ministry of Education and may be an international one, an international curriculum with modifications, or a curriculum established by the school itself. Khmer language and culture constitutes a core subject and is mandatory at every level for all students; Cambodian students are required to study at least five 50-minutes periods a week, while non-Cambodian students must receive a minimum of instruction of one period per week. Interntional schools must operate within a framework of requirements and conditions established by the Ministry of Education, that stipulates the ownership, location and size of the plot, design and structure of buildings, ratio of students to classroom surface, sanitary installations, administration and educational support facilities such as libraries and resources centres. Within one year from their commencement, primary and secondary schools must apply accreditation from an international organization recognized and accepted by the Office of the Private Education Commission and accreeditation must be granted within six years. Managers and head teachers must be of Cambodian nationality;
Higher Education or the third level (3rd Phumasekar) of education is the education following the secondary education in higher educational establishments. Higher Education shall teach learners to have complete personality and characteristic and promote the scientific, technical, cultural and social researches in order to achieve capacity, knowledge, skill, morality, inventive and creative ideas and enterprise spirit to the development of the country. The framework and requirements of the levels of diplomas and certificates shall be determined by the Ministry in charge of Education. Higher educational establishments are of two types - university and institute. The criteria for the types of higher educational establishments and the admission requirements for higher education establishments shall be determined by the Ministry in charge of Education.
Cambodia's official language is Khmer, a member of the Mon-Khmer subfamily of the Austroasiatic Language Group. 95% of the population speaks the language as their mother tongue （CIA FACTBOOK: Cambodia） and this official language is used heavily at the national level. The status of the Khmer language in Cambodia can be summarized in the words of Clayton （2006）:
The Royal Government of Cambodia supports early childcare and childhood education from the age of zero to before kindergarten, generally provided at childcare centers in communities or at home. Kindergarten education shall commence education prior to primary education for preparation to attend primary school. The Ministry in charge of Education and other relevant ministries and institutions shall determine the meanings of early childcare and childhood education.
The Royal Government of Cambodia shall prepare a comprehensive and unique education system, which includes formal education, non-formal education, and informal education. Early childhood education is the preparatory study [level] of the education system. The education system of Cambodia is comprised of public and private education. The Ministry in charge of Education shall issue the regulation on education system.