The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) is expanding the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP) to help create meaningful career paths for Cambodian youth. A recent statement from the ministry highlighted BEEP’s intent to broaden its reach to more beneficiaries.

Responding to the problem of school dropout rates, the MoEYS, UNESCO, and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training have collaborated to launch BEEP. The initiative aims to cater to the educational and vocational needs of those who left school early, and provide them with an avenue towards fruitful employment.

BEEP’s unique approach provides non-graduates an opportunity to acquire vital skills in entrepreneurship, digital literacy, and workplace readiness. The programme’s completion leads to a certificate, equivalent to a ninth-grade qualification, officially recognised by the Education and Labour Ministries.

During a recent visit to Battambang province, Chek Lim, deputy director-general of the general department of youth at MoEYS, underlined the opportunities BEEP offers.

“It is the place for dropout youth to create confidence in themselves and seek to understand about the opportunity to develop their career skills,” he stated.

Lim added that with financial backing from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Decent Employment for Youth in Cambodia Programme Phase III (DEY III), BEEP stands unique in Cambodia, being officially recognised by both the Education and Labour Ministries.

The Ministry of Labour recently held a national workshop on DEY III, inviting representatives from various sectors. This collaboration aimed to gather collective inputs for the upcoming DEY III project, set to run from January 2024 to December 2028.

Som Chamnan, secretary of state at MoEYS, acknowledged the successes of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training initiative (TVET) and DEY II during the workshop.

Pech Polen, CEO of Westline Education Group, underscored the government’s focus on youth development to match the labour market’s technical and vocational demands.

However, he warned about the high dropout rates, especially in lower secondary education, which hampers the potential for further education and skill development.

“As a private education institution, we see that the DEY programme had joined the government in achieving the strategic goal of transforming a quality technical and vocational education system,” he said.