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The inconvenient truth of school dropouts in Cambodia

In 2003, there were approximately 700.000 students (100%) enrolled in grade 1 throughout the country and only about 35.000 students (5%) successfully passed grade 12 in 2015, while roughly 665.000 students (95%) were either acutely forced to drop out along the way or remarkably delayed by their grads repetition. Dropouts is a serious issue which deserved more attentions as proved by this alarming statistic. With financial and technical supports from KOICA, Faculty of Education at RUPP was commissioned to conduct a study about dropouts in rural and urban lower secondary school in Cambodia.

Based on interviews with dropouts and their parents who have been sharing the similar fate, a need to seek additional income for family and to shoulder family burden (farming, cooking, cleaning and taking care of other family members) was cited as the first most influential factor ignite dropout, followed by the poor academic performance. Clearly, a holistic approach, collaborative and strategic planning, and concerted commitments from every stakeholder is required to effectively address this problem.  


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