Child’s right to access education is a universal human right, but however, a large number of rural children have lack of chance to access education at least of 9 years of schooling; it is due to the parents’ perception of the value of education, own education attainment and economic situation.

Education is free in Cambodia, but the heavy burden still falls on parents or guardians to provide a large amount of the costs associated with accessing education such as starting, daily and additional costs. These costs can seem negligible, when added together; they can pose an insurmountable barrier for the family, thus decision about whether to keep children in or out of school are easier to make if there is an additional economic strain on the parents to keep their children in school.

REN SARAK, one of the rural students,  12 years old, living at TEUK PHOS district, KAMPONG CHHNANG province; he will graduate primary education in this academic year 2015-2016 and continue to junior high school next academic year; SARAK’s dream is to be a teacher.

REN SARAK’s mother passed away and his father got late wife, and abandoned the children.

SARAK has three siblings, elder sister and younger brother, and he is the second child of the family; they have lived with grandmother in a poor cottage.

SARAK’s elder sister, due to hard living situation, decided to drop out her study at M1 to find job to support the family; she has sent money to her 120,000Riel(U$30) per month. SARAK, as the money sent from elder sister cannot support the living condition, has to find job after school time and on holiday; he finds vegetables, fish and so on with small income about 5,000R (U$1.25) per day and it is not regular.

SARAK’s grandmother said that” SARAK will go to junior high school, where about 6km from home; I do not know how to support him to go to junior high school, because the school is far and he need bicycle”.   

Many rural children have faced families’ living situation and together with poverty casing low enrolment and high dropout at secondary education; the gross enrolment at lower secondary education was 53.5% and the dropout rate was 21.2%, reported Ministry of Education 2015.


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