The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a world organization that works to secure all Right of the Child. It counts to solve most of problems related to children such as poverty, education, violence, disease, and discrimination. Moreover, it also works to spread the Right of Child in many countries to ensure that every child can have proper life as other people. It has authority to effect every government to act on any problems related to children. UNICEF believes that their action can give all children the best start in lives so that they all can have better future. Some countries in the world still have bad culture that not allow girl go to school. In this case, UNICEF plays very important roles that help promote girl’s education to ensure that they can at least complete primary school. To help them can attend schools, they will be able to be better citizens, and better parents to their societies and families. It also works to protect children from getting common childhood disease so that they can enjoy living their lives longer. Furthermore, UNICEF works to prevent children from getting spreading disease HIV/AIDS. In doing so, children and their families can live happily. Also, it keeps children living in protective environment that they will not suffer from violence, abuse, and exploitation. Last but not least, UNICEF also acts to ensure that there will be no discrimination against women and girls. There will be gender balance in every work society and school. To sum up, UNICEF acts to ensure that all young people can live in proper lives and can prevent from any kinds of exploitation.
United Nation Educational, scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) works to create the environment for discussion between society, cultures and peoples, based upon value for generally to share. Throughout this discussion the world can accomplish worldwide visions of sustainable development surrounding execution of human right, mutual respect and the improvement of poverty. The main objective of UNESCO is to make international society agree all the goals of development goals that include the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Also, the major programs of UNESCO to deal with are education, natural science, social and human science, culture, communication and information. It does not only act in these programs but there are still many special programs that it acts on. Moreover, the main mission of UNESCO is work to contribute to the building of peace, the alleviation of poverty, sustainable development and cross-cultural dialogue through the main programs of UNESCO. The global priorities that this organization focuses on are Africa and gender equality.
The Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is the response of the United Nation to deal with eight global issues the most developing countries meet nowadays. The MDGs is created to achieve eight anti-poverty goals by 2015 as the target. All member states of the United Nation must adopt the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty. Cambodia has adapted the MDGs since 2003 in believing that it could bring more development in the country. There are only eight anti-poverty goals but Cambodia has nine goals that include: eradicate the extreme hunger and poverty, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS malaria and other diseases, ensue environmental, and de-mining, UXO, and victims assistance.
II. Cause and Effect of Child who do not attend school
Cambodia fell into the civil wars in a few decades that cause Cambodia’s society full of problems. Because Cambodia is still a developing country, there are still many problems with children and education. Actually, in the world of today, knowledge and education are really crucial for people in general as a concept to live in a fast-changing world. Therefore, school is the best place to educate them.
Cause of Child not going to school
Most Childs who do not complete school do so because of family problems. Some parents are not interested in education and do not support their children in studying. In addition, they use their children’s effort and value time to earn money to fill the family necessity. In this generation, children should be in school, not at work. To speak frankly, it is not the parents’ fault at all; sometimes this situation is compelled to occur owning to the poverty in the developing country; hence, they cannot afford money for children to go to school punctually. Concerning the family problem, it affects on their children decide not attend school.
The other reason is work pressure. Some families are poor and need their children to work in order to increase the income. Anyway, some Childs are in charge of household chore. Every day they have to complete their duties in advance before coming to school. It looks pitiful that they do not have enough time to concentrate on their study.
Society is also included as a source of not going to school of Childs. In some schools, there are still some corruptions that illegally charge money for registering for their studies. Also, some teachers charge too much money for extra classes that is the reason why some Childs cannot pay. Moreover, there are still not enough schools in Cambodia, especially in rural areas. Moreover, if there is a school in that area, there are still many families that live far away from that school; consequently, Childs who live far away from school still cannot attend school.
Effect of Child not going to schools
Even though some Childs skip school to do something good else, it still has bad effects on their lives. Firstly, they will lack of knowledge and a critical thinking to challenge in life. They will not be qualified to apply for a good job in the job market. If possible, they just take on hard work that cannot earn their own living properly. This kind of work not only offers a low wage but a hard working one, so they still survive under the poverty line. Additionally, they easily suffer from exploitation and trafficking by different ways.
The other negative effect is that they will imitate a foreign culture unconsciously. Cambodia culture will face the losing of its own identity. Why so? In general, school is a place where they teach Childs to know and maintain those valuable cultures since Khmer ancestors made up many centuries ago. If Childs do not complete their obligation to attend school and are not interested in these, they will accept the foreign culture quickly. It is very dangerous that people in one nation don’t know about their culture.
Not going to school also has negative effects on society. Obviously, children who do not attend school usually become street children that could make the society disorder and messy. With regards to the not attending school children, Child themselves will become a low-educated person. The ignorance brings the society some disasters in the following. The social economic will fall down because of lack of human resources to work. Some people are easily cheated by foreigners and foreign culture may come into the society with no choice. Most significantly, identity of the country will be kept in one place and the whole country easily fall into a colony of foreigners. Ignorance also brings a disease and poverty to the country. It can be concluded that the ignorance from not going to school is a darkness covering everything and is a hindrance and a big danger to proceed with development of the country.
III. Action of UNICEF, UNESCO, and the MDGs in Cambodia
UNICEF is not working alone with children in Cambodia, but there is cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to create a program called the Country Program of Cooperation (CPC). The CPC deals with a broad range of issues affecting children such as child survival, early childhood care and development, formal and non-formal education for all ages, HIV/AIDS, and special protection issues. Through the CPC, UNICEF significantly contributes to policies in all major social factors, formulation of national legislation, especially child protection, health and education. The main program that UNICEF works on education of children in the field is known as “Seth Koma” (Rights of Child). This program has been enthusiastically taken up in 700 villages in six rural provinces across Cambodia. UNICEF’s child rights program works with rural communities to build pre-schools that provide children with a safe learning environment and provide literacy classes mostly for young women, including access to clean water and latrines. Also, it is helping children to enroll in primary schools at appropriate ages. The support consisted in training volunteer teachers, providing teaching materials and controlling by technical staff from the provincial and district level. Supported by UNICEF, the primary school in rural areas, where girls had achieved a pass rate of 91 percents in 2008 is a good result of UNICEF’s work. Seth Koma is empowering communities to build better lives for their children. Since this program has implemented in Cambodia, it has assisted about 900 pre-schools in six provinces in rural areas that could help bringing early education to about 20,000 children.
Similarly, UNESCO is not working directly in the field of education in Cambodia. Most programs of UNESCO are directly executed by different ministry and government agencies such as Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports. In the field of education, UNESCO works as Deputy Chair of the Education Sector Working Group (ESWG) in donor coordination to maximize the donor to support all basic programs in Cambodia that provides technical assistance to the MoEYS to identify strategies and resources to help achieve the Education for All. Moreover, UNESCO has taken active role to support all areas of education with special objectives on Early Childhood Care and Education, Basic Education, Teacher quality and Status improving, Literacy and Non-formal Education. In addition, UNESCO has contributed to the on-going education reform by identifying and adapting actions to the local needs. This capacity has been processed to enhance the use of Information and Communication Technologies in second and higher education to reform the Technical and Vocational Education and Training which can reduce the gap of youth and the labor market. With the support of UNESCO, there has been initial progress for improving access all levels of education. It helps to reduce the percentages of incomplete schools from 21 percents in school year 2007/2008 to 18 percents in school year 2008/2009 and helps to deploy 95 percents of newly trained teacher to under staffed schools and in remote areas. The total enrolments of pre-school grew from 72,224 children (35,929 girls) in school year 2003/2004 to 79,585 children (40,013 girls) in school year 2007/2008. According to UNESO Institute of Statistic, primary enrolment increased by 15 percents. MoEYS has been getting about 350,000 children into school every year that they are mostly girls in rural areas and children from poor families; consequently, primary school net has increased from 77.8 percents in 1997/1998 to 83.8 percents in 2000/2001 and to 93.3 percents in 2007/2008 which shows that children are really encouraged to attend school both boys and girls. For secondary schools, the net enrolment has grown from 27 percents in 2000/2001 to 63.6 percent in 2007/2008.
While the Cambodia Millennium Development Goals have to reach a target at 2015, the target of education is the most important one that it is a foundation for all other development goals. However, recent statistics illustrates that for every 100 boys out of school, there are still 117 girls in the same situation. Also, millions of children will continue to die needlessly, which keeps the rest of the process of development of other goals at risk. If Cambodia can meet the Education Goal, the other goals will booth process toward every other Millennium Goal. By educating children helps the level of poverty reduce and promote gender equality. It is linked to Goal 3, gender parity, as the primary education by definition requires gender parity. Furthermore, free primary school for all children is a high commitment of the governments under the 1989 Convention of the Rights of the Child.
To improve the education sector in Cambodia, UNICEF, UNESCO, and royal government of Cambodia have cooperated intensively. However, there are many challenges that the education sector cannot improve much. First, the challenge is because of the Cambodia governance. The education system in Cambodia is very poor that is absence of education quality and trained staff, corruption, and lack of moral of low-wages teachers. The low wage of teaching have forced teachers who lack of moral to create informal classes or extra classes that require students to pay more for those classes, and it is a burden for all poor students. Moreover, students who cannot afford to study in informal classes may face to fail their examinations in classes, repeat grades, or drop out of schools. Although the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports forbidden teachers to form informal classes for own fees, we can still see the practice of collecting fees from students. According to the Times Higher Education Supplement said that, “Cambodian students have long admitted that examinations go hand in hand with money. It still costs around US $2,000 or $3,000 for someone to get into a school of law”. Hence, there is high corruption in education in Cambodia from the low level. Because of the growing corruption in education, there are many concerns about student who do not know anything can pass exams to enter universities. Although the figure point out that, students who enroll for universities increase, we still cannot guarantee that the education system in Cambodia has improved. This is the main point that the government should deal as soon as possible. Second, the government is worried whether Cambodia can achieve the CMDGs by 2015. According to the government of Cambodia said, “Cambodia will not be able to achieve the CMDGs by 2015 unless its national efforts are strengthened all support”. Then Cambodia would fall far behind other developing countries in Asia and Africa that can be widening social and economic disparities in the region. Hence, it is very important to work out to address Cambodia’s challenges. Another major concern of Cambodia government towards CMDGs is the existing of high percentage of over-aged children stuck up in the primary level, and the issue of reducing the gap between boys and girls in basic education since the performance in 2006 show big shortfalls of the target, especially in lower secondary education. Another challenge is that, since the country is poor; hence, the physical infrastructure is also poor that make it more difficult to build schools in remote areas and border areas. Furthermore, “they only offer a macro level perspective which does not reflect the much lower enrolment rates that are reported in remote areas among disadvantages groups, including children with disabilities, the very poor and ethnic minorities”, said the government. In short, there are many obstacles that Cambodia faces in dealing with the improvement of education system.
As the previous parts already mentioned about what are role of UNICEF, UNESCO, and the MDGs in Cambodia, we all know the benefits of these organizations and this policy to Cambodia. Since Cambodia is still a poor country, the government does have enough capacities to provide education to all people and to all levels of education. Talking about UNICEF, without it, perhaps most of young Cambodians who live in rural or remote areas still cannot have chance to attend school. As mentioned, the main program of UNICEF in Cambodia is “Seth Koma” that provide schools with safe environment in about 700 villages of six provinces. Because of building schools and the encouragement of this organization make more students enroll for education in both early age and teenagers. And the numbers of students enroll for education is increasing dramatically in the provinces that UNICEF has taken action in. Similarly, with the help from UNESCO, Cambodia enables to improve education system. This organization works as useful tool for Cambodia in finding budget to support the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports to provide education to all Cambodia. Moreover, it brings advance technology to education in second and higher education that can make more children clear about study and work. By doing this, it helps to reduce the gaps of youth and labor markets. The actions of this organization are very necessary to Cambodia that it can motivate more students to complete the education degree and can push up the numbers of students enroll for education in all levels. Surprisingly, the numbers of female students is also increasing significantly, not only male students. Talking the MDGs in Cambodia, with the help of UNESCO in finding fund to support the MDGs in Cambodia, the government of Cambodia will enable to meet the requirements by 2015 as they have planned. Even though there are many challenges that these organization faced, the action of them still provide a lot of benefit to education sector in Cambodia. Compare to without the actions of these organizations, the education sector will not be improved that fast. All in all, UNICEF, UNESCO, the MDGs provide many advantages to Cambodian society.