An Overview of History and Current Situation of Education for Children with Disabilities in Cambodia: A Gray Literature Review

The private sector has been in charge of educating all children with disabilities in Cambodia. The schooling of children with visual and hearing impairments will, however, be shifted to the public education system in 2020. In this paper, we report on historical improvements to the existing state of education for people with disabilities in the Cambodian education system. This article is based on interviews with Mr. Pen Thavy, the Cambodian government’s materials, and other supporting documents. The “Convention on the Rights of the Child,” adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989, was the first turning point in the Cambodian movement towards education for children with disabilities. This treaty was ratified by Cambodia in 1992. In Cambodia, the principle of “Education for All” was implemented into educational policy. The “Educational law” passed in 2007 was the first law to explicitly mention education for children with disabilities. Three NGO schools are run by schools specialising in education for children with disabilities. One is the Krousar Thmey Foundation, which runs 8 visual/hearing disability schools for girls. Another is Rabbit-School, which has admitted 26 students in the special class, 25 students in the preparation class for children aged 4-6 years, 18 students in cerebral paralysis children’s schools, and 46 students in the integrated class. The third is the Komar Pilar Foundation, which does not have government coordination and is not officially considered to be a school. The total number of students with all disabilities was 44,759 in primary schools and 6787 in secondary schools in 2017, according to the data that we were given. This paper is the first study in each Cambodian province showing the number of children with disabilities. The most common disability in primary schools was mental illness and visual deficiency in junior high schools. The data show that each province differed so much in the number of invisible disabilities such as personality disorders, learning impairment, intellectual disability and emotional distress. A reason for it can be known to be misidentification of disabilities.

Author(s) Details

Akihiro Nishio
Health Administration Center, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan.

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