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September 14, 2013

Cambodia | Education

Poverty poses challenge to learning English in Cambodia

cambodian-pupil.jpgPoverty poses a big challenge to English-language education in Cambodia, where quality English lessons are only available in expensive private schools. But not all hope is lost as individuals and NGOs are doing their best to help the country’s poor learn the language.

English will be the working language throughout Southeast Asia in 2015 when the ASEAN Economic Community is formed.

In Cambodia, however, poverty still poses a big challenge to the quality of English-language education, usually only available in expensive private schools.

Some 200 children take turns fighting for a space in a tiny unit in northern Phnom Penh, where they learn how to read, write and speak English once a week.

For these children, the small room may be the best English school they will ever attend.

English lesson is a great privilege in this Southeast Asian kingdom. Although it is commonly taught in public schools, teaching quality is usually very low.

To receive English schooling, around US$1,000 per year is needed. That amount might be affordable in developed countries, but not in Cambodia where one third of its 15-million population earns less than US$1 per day.

But at Tinath New Generation Academy (TNGA), poor children aged between six and 18 years old can enjoy that privilege for free.

Read the full article from Channel NewsAsia.

Photo: AFP/TANG CHHIN SOTHY

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