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Released on March 7, 2013

The government of the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport promoted the School Dropout Prevention Pilot (SDPP) Program at Banteay Khmer Lower Secondary School on March 6. Rebecca Black, USAID/Cambodia’s new Mission Director, and H.E. Im Sethy, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, participated in the event to raise awareness about the activities to reduce dropout rates among students in grades 7, 8, and 9.

Ms. Black highlighted the program’s mission, the importance of local commitment to its success, and Cambodia’s partnership with the United States in achieving shared goals in development and education. Before teachers, students, and members of the community, Ms. Black said, “Together we can build a better future, and together we can reach for the goal that every child can complete his and her basic education.”

In Tajikistan, India, Timor-Leste, and Cambodia, the SDPP Program exists as a USAID initiative to reduce the number of children dropping out of primary and secondary schools. In Cambodia, the Kampuchean Action for Primary Education, Creative Associates International, Mathematica, and School-to-School International implement the program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and have developed two school-level projects – an Early Warning System to identify vulnerable students and computer labs that increase the relevance of lower secondary education – to reduce dropouts in grades 7, 8, and 9. Two hundred fifteen schools in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kampong Speu, Prey Veng, Pursat and Svay Rieng provinces are participants in the project. The effectiveness of these activities will undergo evaluation, and the program will generate successful strategies to prevent school dropouts throughout the country and the region.

USAID’s partnership with Cambodia also includes health, economic growth, food security, and democracy and governance programs.