Girls' Education Initiative (GEI)
CONTEXT AND RATIONALE
Cambodia has one of the most youthful populations in Southeast Asia with an estimated 65% of its population under 30 years old and an estimated 33% between the ages of 15 and 29. In spite of this preponderance of youthful citizens, however, fewer than 35% of Cambodian adolescents enroll in the secondary education sector each year and only about 6% in technical and vocational training institutions. These numbers suggest that as much as two-thirds of Cambodia’s youth population transitions into the country’s workforce at a very early age and with little in the way of the skills preparation needed for an effective workforce.
The Education Management and Information Service (EMIS) report that only about a third of adolescents aged 12 to 15 enrol in the lower education sector implying that the vast majority leave the system after completing primary school. The low levels of enrolment at lower secondary school level combined with the high dropout rate provide a powerful rational to provide investment to enhance the transition of children from Grade 6 to 7 as well as their retention within the system. Migration is one of the key behaviors that youth use to survive in the labor market and a large proportion of the youth consulted at all levels indicated their readiness to consider migration as a possible option.
In this respect, 29% of in-school youth in a KAPE survey indicated that they were somewhat or very likely to migrate. Yet once again, educators seemed surprisingly uninformed about the extent to which their students are considering such options. New programming under GEI will seek to increase the awareness levels of local educators about the dangers of migration through action research in which they conduct their own survey of their students
The Long-Term Goal of GEI under the 3-year extension will enable, encourage and empower vulnerable girls at risk of dropping out to remain in lower secondary school and to provide vocational guidance to assist in making informed decisions with respect to higher education and vocational opportunities by the end of this program.
The Immediate Objective to ensure that 100 vulnerable girls engaged in 3-year-secondary education level have more life options in their future planning, as a result of scholarships, and supportive school-based assistance packages (e.g., English and counseling activity).
TIMEFRAMCE AND LOCATION
The proposed program has a three-year time frame and would ideally start in October 2019 and end in August 2022. Five lower secondary schools in Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum Provinces will be selected and implemented by KAPE.
The group photo was taken during the Launching GEI Project in Kampong Cham and Tbaung Khmum provinces in November 2019.
The public speaking presentation was encouraged the students coming to the stage to express their own understanding.
The students presented their income receiving from the market stimulation. This was training them how to run a business and control their incomes.
6Higher Education Institutions