The educational human resources of Cambodia were lost over the past 30 years due to conflict and instability. In 1979, after the Khmer Rouge regime, the national education started from zero, and has gradually been developed until present. There are three ways of providing and receiving education: formal, non-formal and informal. The formal education structure consists of pre-school education six years of primary school (grades 1-6) where pupils should be enrolled at the age of six, three years of lower-secondary school (grades 7-9) and three years of upper secondary school (grades 10-12). For the academic year 2009-2010, the total number of students was 3,248,479 (1,540,077 female) and the number of educational staff 94,723. We had 10,115 schools with a total of 80,508 classrooms. With the improvement in the national economy, especially in the capital of Phnom Penh, education has become a more valuable commodity and private schools were opened.
For those who have dropped out of school without completing the basic education level (grades 1-9), there are opportunities to attend literacy and life-skill programmes as well as short-term vocational training programmes offered by the MoEYS, Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA) and Non Governmental Organisations. After completing lower-secondary education, students have the option of continuing to upper-secondary education or of entering secondary-level vocational training programmes offered by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT). After completing upper-secondary education, students enter vocational training or tertiary education.
For teacher training, currently there are 18 Provincial Teacher Training Colleges (PTTCs) for primary school teachers, 6 Regional Teacher Training Colleges (RTTCs) for lower secondary school teachers, 1 National Institute of Education (NIE) for upper secondary school teachers and 1 Pre-school Teacher Training Center for pre-school teachers.
Since 2000, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), with support from UNESCO and other partners, has embarked on a policy-based sector-wide reform, guided by a five year Education Strategic Plan (ESP) designed to accelerate achievement of Education for All (EFA). This has been a challenging process, requiring extensive research and analysis of sector performance and trends in order to formulate new reform policies and strategies based on the existing educational major policies: to universalize 9 years of basic education and developing opportunities for functional literacy; to modernize and improve the quality of education through effective reform; to link education/training with labour market and society; to rehabilitate and develop youth and sport sub-sector.