Cambodia National Literacy Day: A Celebration of Learning and Empowerment

National Literacy Day is a day to celebrate the importance of literacy and to recognize the achievements of those who have overcome illiteracy. It is also a day to recommit to the goal of universal literacy in Cambodia. 

Literacy is essential for individual and community development. It opens up opportunities for people to learn, to grow, and to participate fully in society. It also helps to reduce poverty and inequality.

In Cambodia, there are still many people who are illiterate. According to the National Institute of Statistics, 22% of adults in Cambodia are illiterate. This means that they cannot read or write simple sentences. 

The director of the Ministry of Education’s Non-Formal Education Department, Kuoch Kou Lom-A, said that about 17,000 illiterate people in Cambodia enroll in the ministry’s programs each year, and an average of 14,000 complete the course. 

There are many challenges to literacy in Cambodia. Poverty, lack of access to education, and language barriers are some of the biggest challenges. 

UNESCO’s representative in Cambodia, Sardar Umar Alam, said that literacy is essential for human resource development in all countries. He noted that Cambodia has achieved a literacy rate of 87% and that UNESCO has also made significant progress in its literacy programs.

Specifically, UNESCO aims to empower 80% of women working in factories who face challenges in reading, writing, and numeracy. This is important because these women often lack the skills they need to get better jobs and improve their lives.

Alam also said that UNESCO is working to make its literacy programs more accessible and inclusive. This includes using local languages and providing flexible learning options for people who work or have other commitments.

The government of Cambodia is working to address these challenges. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has implemented a number of programs to improve access to education and to promote literacy. These programs include the Universal Primary Education Program, the Multilingual Education Program, and the National Reading Program, which aims to promote a love of reading among children. 

On National Literacy Day, there are a variety of activities that are held throughout Cambodia. These activities include:

  • Book fairs and exhibitions
  • Literacy workshops and training
  • Public speeches and awareness-raising campaigns
  • Celebrations of the achievements of those who have overcome illiteracy

National Literacy Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements that have been made in Cambodia and to recommit to the goal of universal literacy. It is also a day to raise awareness of the importance of literacy and to call for action to address the challenges that remain. 

“I was illiterate until I was 18 years old. I couldn’t read or write a single word. But then I joined a literacy program and learned how to read and write. It changed my life. I was able to get a job and support my family. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to learn to read and write.” – Aung, a former illiterate person.

“Literacy is the key to unlocking the world’s knowledge and opportunities.” – Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General

National Literacy Day is a day to celebrate the power of literacy. It is a day to remember that everyone has the right to learn and to grow. It is a day to commit ourselves to creating a more literate world.



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