With students back in class, experts note lasting impact of school closures

Students back in class after in-person instruction resumed in Phnom Penh. Picture taken November 1, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

As students try to fully return to the routine of a standard school year, experts are beginning to trace the full impact of nearly a year-and-a-half of distance learning.

Female migrant workers struggle to find jobs after returning home

Cambodian migrant workers prepare to board a military truck to transport them from the Thai side of the border to the Cambodian side after, August 13, 2021. Supplied Photo

At the age of 16, with her family facing severe financial difficulties, Keo Chakriya dropped out of school to join the workforce. Lured by promises of a high salary and better work conditions, Chakriya, now 22, did not hesitate to pursue work in Thailand. She got a job in a factory and stayed over five years, until August 2021, when she was forced to return to Cambodia as COVID-19 began its rapid spread.

In push to modernize Cambodian farming, smallholders are stepping up

Farmers harvest their vegetable in Kampong Thom province. Photo taken in 2021, supplied.

Cambodian farmers have long felt the pressure to modernize their techniques as part of a larger national push to expand the agricultural sector.

Despite Increased Enrollments Cambodia Lags Behind in STEM

An IT worker uses his computer at an office in Phnom Penh, Picture taken 22, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

More Cambodian university students are doing degrees in computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), data shows, but the country still remains underprepared to compete in the 4th industrial revolution and digital economy.

2.8 million Cambodians were living under the poverty line in 2020

Cyclo drivers Choy Pich 78 and Sin Met 65 waiting for customers along a street in Phnom Penh, December 6, 2021. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan

As workers began heading out for lunch in central Phnom Penh last week, a grey-haired cyclo driver smiled and waved, hoping to entice a fare. As had been the case nearly every other day that week, Choy Pech, 78, had failed to find a single passenger though he had been out since early morning.