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Cambodia: A new hope for more than 57,000 out of school children

Thu 8 Jan 2015


Phnom Penh, 20 January 2015 – Aide et Action and key partners have initiated a nationwide first, the Cambodian Consortium for Out of School Children (CCOSC), an unprecedented coming together of 17 international and local development actors uniting behind a mission to enrol and retain more than 57,000 children of primary school age that are currently missing out on an education.


Thanks to the efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia and its local and international NGO partners, Cambodia has made significant progress on increasing access to primary school with a net enrolment rate of 96% in 2013/14. However for some children enrolling and staying in school is still a dream. In 2012/13 8% of enrolled children dropped out of school before they had even completed Grade 1;sustaining attendance at school is a major challenge. This is particularly the case amongst children with disabilities, from ethnic minority communities, living in poverty or in remote areas and street children. These children face many barriers to going to school – but we believe that we can tackle these barriers to give them a better chance in life. 


The consortium mission is to contribute to a comprehensive Cambodian inclusive education system that caters for every child. “We must reach these excluded children. Children who are not in school lose the opportunity to learn and this will have consequences for the rest of their lives, states Samphors Vorn, Aide et Action Cambodia director. “Education is a human right. It must be guaranteed for all by improving the way that the education system includes these children.”


The consortium comprises of a wide array of development partners i.e. international and local NGOs, researchers, international experts and organisations, partnering with communities to catalyse change. The consortium partners have a strong track record of engaging with vulnerable children and their communities to find ways to re-engage them with education. They will use this track record, and their innovative approaches to reaching out to disadvantaged children, to enable school attendance for a target of over 50,000 primary school aged children between 2014 and 2018. The consortium will draw on the valuable experience and abilities of a national advisory board consisting of Ministry of Education officials, outstanding development partners and education experts. It works to set up sustainable mechanisms in close collaboration with governmental institutions and local authorities so that the approaches development can continue after the end of the programme.


The consortium is co-funded by the Educate a Child (EAC) program from the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation. EAC focuses on enabling children to realise their right to an education by eliminating the obstacles they face. By working in partnership and emphasising innovation, scale and sustainability, EAC wants to enable every child fulfil his or her right to education.


The launching of the Cambodian Consortium for Out of School Children project co-organized by NEP and Aide et Action will take place on the 29th of January 2015 in Phnom Penh. The launching will be presided over by H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport. Around 125 participants will attend from the Technical committee of National Assembly, Senate, relevant government ministries, civil society organisations and all provincial education departments and consortium members.


Press contacts


Aide et Action


  • Cindy Cao, Head of Communications,, (+855) (0) 88 767 02 95
  • Prasith Chin, Communication Officer, (+855) (0) 23 221 940


NGO Education Partnership (NEP)