Children :: School Life

73.6% (of those age 15 and above) can read and write (2000 census).

Primary school - 6 years
Secondary school - 6 years
Higher education

Children usually begin school at age 6 or 7. The constitution of Cambodia promulgates free compulsory education for nine years. However, attendance at school remains low in rural areas because children are often expected to help their families with household chores and in the fields. Also many children repeat grades so it takes on average more than 10 years to complete primary school.

Photo on the right shows a classroom at Siem Reab with wooden desks and benches.

Cambodia's educational system is severely hampered by shortages of funds, books, equipment, and adequately trained and compensated teaching staff.