According to Dunnett (1993) cited in (Sideth S. D, 2004) a, Cambodia had one of the highest literacy
rates and most progressive education systems in Southeast Asia during the 1960s. This country enjoyed
massive expansion in education from independence to 1970 (Lee C. Fergusson & Gildas Le Masson, 1997).
Education system was substantially developed by the prince Norodom Sihanouk in Songkum Reas Niyum
time which is also known as the Songkum. He wanted to build up Cambodia nation through educational
development (Sam Sideth. D, 2004). During his regime, the highest national budget share for education
system was twenty five percent attended for staffing, material production, and school construction (Sideth
S. D, 2004). Along with the new principles educational development in the 1950s and recommendations
form UNESCO to increase more learning opportunities for boys and girls and to fighting illiteracy adult in
rural area (Sideth S. D, 2004), his goal for education was compulsory primary education for all (Sideth S.
D, 2004)b. As a result, the number of teachers has expanded commensurately from 1950 to 1964 (Sideth S.
D, 2004), and the number of primary, secondary schools, and new universities increased dramatically
throughout the country (Chendler, 2008 cited in Rany. S, 2012). Moreover, according (Deighton, 1971 cited
in Sideth S. D, 2004), there was more than one million children enrolled in primary education by late 1960s
while there was only 0.6 million in 1960 and 0.13 in 1950. Furthermore, remarkably, around 21 higher
educational institutions had created during the Songkum time according to Rany Sam (2012). Normally, as
the all level of the public school increased, the number of female students going to school also increase. In
contrast, from 1950 to 1965 the number of females enrolled at the primary level only grew from 9 percent
to 39 percent (Sideth S. D, 2004). Besides that, female attending secondary education was accounted only
15% in the early 1960s (going to school in the East Asia). Moreover, according to Lee C. Fergusson &
Gildas Le Masson (1997), access to increasingly high levels of education did not, however, extend to
women, as noted by UNESCO when it reported that between 1954 and 1963 approximately 9% of higher
education enrolments were female. We can somehow see the reasons why only small number of females
got access to education. According to (going to school in the East Asia), there are two reasons such as:
-lack attention given to gender issue by policy maker distracted by other educational projects
-cultural attitudes relative to girl’s expectation in life.
According to Lost Goddesses: The Denial of Female Power in Cambodian History:
-girls were constrained from accessing education to the same degree as boys because of ingrained
perception of schools as potentially dangerous place where girls could dishonor the family