Children of CambodiaJanuary 28, 2017 in Cambodia
We took a tour into the countryside and some small villages. The children fascinated me. There is a clear divide between those committed to go to school and get educated and those that simply get sucked up by the system to work from a very young age. I noticed that majority of them getting themselves to and from school. So many children were lifting each other on bikes way to large for them, others are walking miles to get home.
Pic of the boy on the truck... he is clearly one who is working with his father from a very young age. He was flashing the dollars very cheekily, and when his dad took off he threw money at me, Like a Vegas winner, I ran into the street to pick it was false 10 dollar note.
I read this article on their education on a charity site which gave me an even deeper compassion for the kids....Of Cambodia's 14.4 million people, half are under age 22 - and so there is a burgeoning school age population. Education statistics are improving dramatically but are still very low by world standards. Education makes up a small part of the Government annual spend, and the problem is that in absolute terms, this expenditure is very low. Just 1.6% of Cambodia's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) according to UNESCO is spent on education - ranking around 170th in the world. Most western countries spend around 5.5% to 6.4% of GDP on education.
During the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979, education was dealt a severe setback, and the great strides made in literacy and in education during the two decades following independence were obliterated systematically. Schools were closed, and educated people and teachers were subjected to, at the least, suspicion and harsh treatment and, at the worst, execution. At the beginning of the 1970s, more than 20,000 teachers lived in Cambodia; only about 5,000 of the teachers remained 10 years later. Soviet sources report that 90 percent of all teachers were killed under the Khmer Rouge regime. Only 50 of the 725 university instructors, 207 of the 2,300 secondary school teachers, and 2,717 of the 21,311 primary school teachers survived.