Paris-based NGO Aide et Action (AEA) and several partners organisations have launched a 425-km bike ride across Cambodia from November 13-20. .

The ride aims to raise public awareness of the importance of education and encourage out-of-school children to reenrol in school.

Vorn Samphas, country director of AEA, said that the event sets out from The “Rabbit School” at Tuol Kork primary school in Phnom Penh, where the NGO was granted permission by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to open classrooms for children with learning impairments.

He added that from Phnom Penh, the participants will pedal on to Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom and Siem Reap provinces, before ending in Banteay Meanchey province. Cyclists from partner organisations, the private sector and volunteers are taking part take part in the 425-km ride.

“We expect that our campaign will increase the awareness of the importance of education among parents, teachers, local authorities and members of sub-national and national level government institutions. We would like the new government to increase investment in the sector, and encourage teachers to improve the educational services they provide to for children,” he said.

He added that the campaign aimed to encourage the general population, especially those with children with learning impairments and out of school, to enrol them.

Sour Malay, executive director of the Khmer Youth Technical Development Association, said at the opening of the campaign that the event demonstrates the close attention that the participants are paying to the schooling of all children, especially those with learning impairments or special education needs.

“Through our efforts, we want to show that education is for all of us and that no children will be left behind,” he added.

Phan Sokha, principal of Tuol Kork primary school, said that he was pleased with the campaign.

He explained that the school opened in 1946, and has collaborated with Rabbit School since 2008 to help 223 children with learning impairments achieve an education.

“We were awarded with a prize by former Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2014, and this year the school will become a model school in Phnom Penh,” he added.

With the financial support of Education In Action Cambodia (EAC) of the Education Above All Foundation of Qatar and the EU, Aide et Action has implemented the project “Partners unite to offer educational opportunities through the Cambodia Consortium of Out-of-School Children (CCOSC)”, in the capital and all 24 Kingdom’s provinces.