All education for some? International Development and Shadow Education in Cambodia

Will Brehm, Fatih Aktas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to compare two UNESCO reports on educational development in Cambodia, one from 1955 and the other from 2010, in order to understand how the global education development agenda has impacted shadow education.

The study is conducted through a textual comparison of two UNESCO reports written 50 years apart.

Although the educational problems facing Cambodia were similar in both reports, the recommendations differed in important ways. The 1955 report advised the country to expand slowly access to education in order to maintain quality, while the 2010 recommended quickly expanding access. A major difference found in the reports regarded the issue of fees in schooling, which did not appear in 1955. School fees in Cambodia are typically extracted through the system of private tutoring, known in the academic literature as shadow education. Such an insight, this paper argues, suggests that the difference in development approach between the two reports is one of the reasons shadow education has flourished in the country.

Through a historical comparison of development efforts in one country, it becomes clear that the education development agenda is partly to blame for the rise of shadow education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-81
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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