This year, 2019, is a significant year in the modern history of Cambodia. January 2019 marks 40 years since the defeat of the Khmer Rouge by the Vietnamese. The Khmer Rouge ruled and ravaged Cambodia from April 1975 until January 1979. During that time, more than 2 million Cambodians – men, women and children – were murdered at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. A country that was once a shining light in South East Asia was decimated. Under the Khmer Rouge, schools were closed and destroyed and intellectuals were executed. Educators and teachers were subjected to, at the least, suspicion and harsh treatment and, at the worst, execution. During the Khmer Rouge years, the great strides made in literacy and in education following independence in 1953, were obliterated systematically. At the beginning of the 1970s, more than 20,000 teachers lived in Cambodia; only about 5,000 of the teachers remained 10 years later.
Cambodia’s quality of education relating to teacher qualifications, effective teaching methods, school management and community involvement is lacking. This reality is the long-term impact of the Khmer Rouge government that wiped out the entire education system in Cambodia 30 years ago. The country is still rebuilding its education system and access to a quality education is the number one challenge.
Hope Global is dedicated to building a quality education system throughout Cambodia in partnership with educators, government officials and other nonprofits working the education sector that is accessible to all, no matter if they are in urban centers or rural villages. We construct long-term relationships with our partners – meeting the needs of communities based on what they assess is critical within their sphere of work.