The NGO Education Partnership (NEP) organized a Third National Conference on Transforming Education to Promote Inclusion in the Education Sector in September 2023 at the Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh.
The conference brought together government officials, civil society organizations, development partners, and researchers to discuss how to improve education in Cambodia. The specific goals of the conference were to:
- Address the knowledge gap regarding local targets of SDG4 and TES Commitments
- Explore means to strengthen the education system by the alignment of government policies with CSO programs and structures
- Discuss how to improve SDG monitoring and implementation to transform the education paradigm and promote more impactful policy implementation
- Explore ways to collaborate with CSOs, RGC, and Development partners to mainstream gender and disability in education
The conference featured a variety of sessions and workshops, including:
- Plenary sessions on the intersection of national education policies and SDG4 targets, collaborative environment for more impactful policy implementation, and exploring means to take action on a more inclusive environment in the next ESP 2024-2028 in Cambodia
- Group discussions on challenges in achieving the commitments and targets of Sustainable Development Goal 4, inclusive education and WASH, building teacher capacity and gender responsiveness in teaching and learning, and access for ethnic minority learners
- Panel discussions on gender and disability mainstreaming discourse and mobilizing education sector actors to increase education financing
The conference was a valuable opportunity for stakeholders to share ideas and work together to improve education in Cambodia.
Below are just some of the challenges and recommendations for achieving the commitments and targets of SDG4. It is important to address these challenges in order to ensure that all children in Cambodia have access to quality education.
- NGO sectors are not collectively working together especially while responsible for each task
- Ineffective decentralization of roles and resource allocation for sub-national level
- The budget is not equitably distributed
- Stakeholders are not fully aware of policies and guidelines
- Budget allocation is not based on the real need/ scope of area or population
- Strengthening awareness of policies/guidance
- Increasing budget allocation for specific needs such as social support and education
- There must be an increased budget allocation for some specific needs/sectors.
- A verifiable mechanism for disseminating policy and guidelines to stakeholders is needed
Role of CSO:
- NGOs should work collectively to advocate for an increased budget.
- Promote understanding among CSOs on policy framework/implementation