Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Cambodia News  >> Education  >> Kingdom lacks education as economic ties approach

NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   19 April 2013  

Kingdom lacks education as economic ties approach

19 April 2013     By Hor Kimsay

Almost every day, Pet Rath journeys from his home in Battambang province’s Sampov Loun district across the border to study Thai about two kilometres inside Cambodia’s western neighbour.

The facilities and standards at the school he attends part-time over the border in Khlong Hat district, Sa Kaeo province, have always surprised him.

“The development of the education system in Thailand seems miles away from what we have in the school in our home district,” he said.  

“The schoolyard [in Thailand] is wider than the ones in my home district. Students wear appropriate uniforms and better obey the school’s rules. Teachers and students can reach school by travelling on modern roads.”

The vast gap between the educations afforded to students in Thailand and Cambodia is representative of a broader problem facing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as its 10 member states seek to integrate their economies by 2015.

Namely, how can member countries that have just begun to develop their education systems hope to compete with individuals from far more developed ASEAN states armed with a vastly superior education in an integrated regional economy?

It’s a dilemma that has pricked the concern of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which yesterday highlighted this problem in the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific, released yesterday by ESCAP.

The wide socio-economic gap remaining between more developed members and less developed members – namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – is a major concern, the report says.

“The literacy rate in Cambodia remains low, at around 75 per cent, compared to the other ASEAN members’ 90 to 95 per cent [except for Laos],” the survey found. “Public spending on education is also relatively low at around three per cent of [the gross domestic product].

“Such a gap could have a negative impact not only on the economic integration of ASEAN but also on its social and cultural harmonisation.” The report goes on to say that education will also be an important factor in determining labour productivity.

While Cambodia prepares for the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, which will facilitate the free flow of goods and labour among its 10 countries, improving labour productivity and competitiveness in a regionalised economy is crucial for Cambodia, analysts and experts said.

Dr Vong Sam Ang, general manager of SOMA Consulting Service, told the Post yesterday that Cambodia will face tough competition when the ASEAN economic community opens its doors, as the quality of employees in white-collar positions such as accounting and banking is limited compared with regional competitors.

“The educational systems in more developed members of the ASEAN and the commitment of their students are on a higher level than ours,” he said. “Instead of hiring a Cambodian middle manager or general manager, a chief executive officer might choose to import staff from more developed countries whose quality is much better.”

However, Sam Ang also said he sees enormous potential in the Kingdom’s large young labour force, many of whom are low-cost workers.

“The ASEAN economic community could entice more investors to open up businesses in our country, and graduated students who leave school with good skills could also see broadened opportunities by the ASEAN economic community’s launch,” he said.

“In order for [less developed] countries to fully benefit from the ASEAN economic community, the focus on education needs to be enhanced,” said the ESCAP report.

However, education might be a crucial step to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen’s target to move forward “from a low-income country to a lower-middle income country”, as he told Chinese news agency Xinhua in last week.

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories    19 April 2013   Subsribe Now !
• Singapore Exchange appoints Jenny Chiam as new Securities Head Asean Affairs Premium
• Road paved with granite and hope comes to Myanmar
• MISC falls below Petronas revised takeover offer
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry

• Trading ideas: MISC, Aeon Credit, Efficient E-Solutions
• Thai AirAsia ready to serve Chinese boom
• Car production rises 34%
• Cambodia-backed map was 'never endorsed'
• US warship arrives in S'pore for Southeast Asian deployment
• EU ready to lift Myanmar sanctions, except on arms
• Vietnam jails activist for 'anti-state propaganda'
• Kingdom lacks education as economic ties approach
• MFI increases loans as economy growsl
• Activist groups call for rights tribunal in Aceh
• Signor Sassi Bangkok voted as Thailand's Best Restaurants
Asean Analysis             19 April 2013      Advertise Your Brand
• Asean Analysis- April 19, 2013  
• Asean Weekly- April 19, 2013 Sponsor Our Events
Asean Stock Watch      19 April 2013 
• Asean Stock Watch- April 19, 2013  

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand