The return to school has been a welcome relief for both students and teachers. Tean teaches in a school serving one of Cambodia’s indigenous communities in the remote province of Ratanakiri.
“I felt so upset about my students earlier this year, worried they would drop out forever,” he says, the day after his school re-opened.
“Now I’m much happier because I know we can bring them back …I just want them to finish their education, so they go on to a better life, for them and their families.”
Cambodia has made terrific progress in educating its children, with 90 per cent of children now enrolled in primary school.
Yet, too many are falling behind due to a lack of quality teaching and basic infrastructure such as water and sanitation facilities. Then COVID-19 closures affected more than 3 million children across the country, with the scale of the crisis threatening to roll back years of progress.
"I just want them to finish their
education, so they go on to a better
life, for them and their families.”
Since day one of the pandemic, UNICEF has been working closely with the Cambodian government to keep every child learning. Finding alternative ways to learn from home and rebuilding a routine has been a critical part of UNICEF’s response.