Development of the Current System

Education began making a slow comeback, following the establishment of the People's Republic of Kampuchea. In 1986 the following main institutions of higher education were reported in the PRK:
the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy (reopened in 1980 with a six-year course of study)
the Chamcar Daung Faculty of Agriculture (opened in 1985)
the Kampuchea-USSR Friendship Technical Institute (now Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC)) (which includes technical and engineering curricula)
the Institute of Languages (Vietnamese, German, Russian, and Spanish are taught)
the Institute of Commerce, the Center for Pedagogical Education (formed in 1979)
the Normal Advanced School
the School of Fine Arts.

Writing about the education system under the PRK, Vickery states, "Both the government and the people have demonstrated enthusiasm for education ... The list of subjects covered is little different from that of prewar years. There is perhaps more time devoted to Khmer language and literature than before the war and, until the 1984-85 school year, at least, no foreign language instruction." He notes that the secondary school syllabus calls for four hours of foreign language instruction per week in Russian, German, or Vietnamese but that there were no teachers available.

Martin describes the education system in the PRK as based very closely on the Vietnamese model, pointing out that even the terms for primary and secondary education have been changed into direct translations of the Vietnamese terms. Under the PRK regime, according to Martin, the primary cycle had four instead of six classes, the first level of secondary education had three instead of four classes, and the second level of secondary education had three classes. Martin writes that not every young person could go to school because schooling in towns and in the countryside required enrollment fees. Civil servants paid (in 1987) 25 riels per month to send a child to school, and others paid up to 150 riels per month. According to Martin, "Access to tertiary studies was reserved for children whose parents worked for the regime and had demonstrated proof of their loyalty to the regime." She writes that, from the primary level on, the contents of all textbooks except for alphabet books were politically oriented and dealt "more specifically with Vietnam." From the beginning of the secondary cycle, Vietnamese language study was compulsory.