According to Father Olivier Schmitthausler, Director of the Committee on Education of the Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh, the rebuilding of the school system in Cambodia, which was destroyed by the dictatorship of the 1970s and by twenty years of civil war, is one of the most important tasks of the Church in that country.
Speaking to the UCAN news agency, Father Schmitthausler said, “The education of children and young people is a priority for the Church in Cambodia, which seeks to improve its educational strategies at all levels.”
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Church has worked with the government and civil society in opening new schools that not only offer basic education but also teach students important values, he added.
Father Schmitthausler said education for the underprivileged is a priority for the school system. As a result in many cities “Student Homes” have been opened, providing children from rural areas a place to carry out their studies. There are currently sixteen such homes operating in the country, and officials hope to open more elementary schools in rural areas, where illiteracy is common.