Years ago, Trailblazer was visited by a representative of the Ministry of Education. He reported that students were dropping out of school between the primary and secondary levels of school, greatly due to the lack of having bicycles. The distance between primary and secondary schools can be 10 kilometers or more. With no means of transportation, it is too difficult for students to walk such great distances, and so they simply drop out of school. He asked if Trailblazer would help keep students in school by providing bicycles. This request from the government official furthered Trailblazer's support of education projects, beyond building schools.
Cambodia has a 6-3-3 formal education structure that has been in place since 2009. Primary school has an official entry age of six and a duration of six grades. Secondary school is divided into two cycles: lower secondary consists of grades 7 - 9, and upper secondary consists of grades 10 - 12. In principle, primary and lower secondary school are compulsory. Students sit for the basic education diploma at the end of grade 9, and the high school diploma at the end of grade 12. The school year lasts 38 weeks and is divided into two semesters, running September-January and February-June. (UNESCO IBE, World Data on Education. Revised 4/2011)
Out of school rates are reported to be highest for children [population ages 7-14] in the poorest rural areas (13%), in comparison to children from urban areas (7%). Reports show that more girls (12%) are out of school than boys (11.5%). USAID data in 2011 showed that primary enrollment reached 96% of the child population, with lower secondary school rate at 34% and upper secondary at 21%.
These statistics clearly indicate that enrollments decrease at the secondary levels of school and makes Trailblazer's efforts to keep students in school all the more important. In January 2022, Trailblazer was happy and proud to report the delivery of 113 bicycles. Now we are working on what will be possible in 2023! We always wait until we have a truck load of bicycles [an average of 50 bicycles] or 300 uniforms before we make a delivery to a school, in order to be able to service all the students at a school who have been identified in need.
We appreciate your contribution in making an impact to grow the development of Cambodia through educating one of its major resources - its children. Thank you.