by Mom Chantara Soleil
It is not even two years yet since its start in Ratanakiri, but Plan has been nominated to represent education NGOs to co-lead this week’s event to push the north-eastern province’s literacy.
“Plan just comes to our province, but it has many activities contributing to promoting literacy,” addressed H.E. Pao Ham Phan, Ratanakiri Provincial Governor to some 400 participating governmental officials, NGO representatives, teachers, students, parents and commune councillors.
The event aimed to celebrate the World Literacy Day and at the same time highlight the significance of literacy among all stakeholders.
As one of Cambodia’s top five provinces with lowest literate population, the north-eastern Ratanakiri was the earliest to kick-start the world literacy event, globally commemorated on 8 September.
The report by Ratanakiri Department of Education Youth and Sport indicates the province’s latest literacy rate of 58.28% (among approximately 180,604 population), compared to the national rate of 70.86%.
For the first eight month of 2013, according to Deputy Director of the Department of Education Youth and Sport Mr. Pa Setha, 2,376 people (44% female) has attended literacy classes.
Plan was also granted an appreciation letter by the provincial governor during the occasion for its effort to raise the literacy status of Ratanakiri.
“We are a new comer, but not necessarily less experienced. Concerned government officials, community children and adults, local authorities and like-minded NGOs get to know us very quickly because we strongly value the partnership with them. We strategise education as foundation of all interventions to bring about positive changes to lives of children, their families and communities,” told Mr. Phen Bunthoeun, Plan’s Programme Unit Manager in Ratanakiri, in an interview after the event.
At the national level, Plan has been working with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport to document the Policy of Non-formal Education and the three-year national snapshot of the non-formal education progress to be circulated across the country, according to Plan Cambodia’s Education Specialist.