Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia to support the implementation of Education Above All Foundation’s (EAA) project aimed at improving access to equitable quality education in Cambodia.
The agreement was signed virtually by Khalifa bin Jassim al-Kuwari, director-general of QFFD, and Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia. The signing ceremony was also attended by Qatar’s non-resident ambassador to Cambodia, Mohamed Ismail al-Emadi, and Fahd bin Hamad al-Sulaiti, CEO of Education Above All Foundation, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday.
Under this project, more than 116,000 children will be reached in co-operation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Cambodian Consortium for Out-of-School Children, according to QNA. Al-Kuwari said: “The MoU, which was concluded between the QFFD and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia, aims to support a phased educational project of a programme that seeks to improve access to equitable and high-quality education for children in Cambodia. It will be implemented by our strategic partner, EAA.
“This programme seeks to develop schools for children deprived of education in Southeast Asia. It targets more than 100,000 Cambodian children who are out of school. We hope it will help children deprived of primary education in remote areas where schools can be accessed only by walking over long distances, for more than two and a half hours.”
EAA, though its programme Educate a Child and in partnership with the United Nations, global, international and local organisations, provides educational opportunities and quality education for children from vulnerable and marginalised groups deprived of primary education, especially in areas of poverty, conflict and natural disasters.
Unesco studies have shown that there are about 190,043 out-of-school children of primary school age in Cambodia. In the second phase of this project, more than half of them (116,396) will be reached in co-operation with the Cambodian Consortium for Out-of-School Children, according to a press statement by EAA.
Schools in 25 provinces in Cambodia will be supported through the projects’ focus on equitable access, quality education, ownership and accountability. The project’s interventions, scholarships, in-kind support and livelihood support for families will be supported, while schools will be constructed and rehabilitated. The programme additionally aims to train teachers, provide educational materials and build the learning and educational capacities of the players in education to meet the needs of special population groups.
Within the framework of the initiative, children who are tentatively eligible to benefit from these projects will be identified through participatory community mapping campaigns, QNA adds. On the support provided by QFFD to implement education projects in Cambodia, al-Sulaiti said: “Qatar Fund for Development’s support for education projects in Cambodia is a support for the right of children deprived of education as well as for a programme to improve access to equitable and high-quality education in Cambodia. It is a key step in our continuous efforts to support registering children, providing educational opportunities and quality education for those who are deprived of primary education, especially for vulnerable and marginalised groups in Cambodia.”
“Despite the real progress that Cambodia has witnessed in achieving universal primary education, the sector still faces multiple challenges, including migration, child labour and poverty, which threaten the gains achieved during the initial phase of the project,” he added. “We are pleased to be working with a strong consortium of global partners that take decisive steps towards capacity building.”
The project aims to support the United Nations SDGs. This is through a multidimensional approach, including Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Reducing Inequality (SDG 10) and Partnership for the Goals (SDG 17).
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