The All Children Reading (ACR) Cambodia activity, funded by USAID, was implemented by RTI International and its consortium partners from 2017-2020. ACR-Cambodia helped to transform the landscape of early grade literacy teaching and learning in the Khmer language, including development and distribution of over 1 million teaching and learning materials for over 300,000 students from pre-primary to Grade 2. This widespread impact in Cambodia was supportive of both students with and without disabilities, including embedded inclusive practices supportive of all students in general education settings, as well as targeted assistance to special schools and out-of-school students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
As part of the USAID-funded Multi-Country Study on Inclusive Education (MCSIE), Inclusive Development Partners (IDP) and the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO) have evaluated the ACR-Cambodia activity, with a particular focus on inclusive education. In addition to secondary source analysis, primary source data collection for the MCSIE evaluation in Cambodia has included:
- Over 200 interviews and focus group discussions with classroom teachers, head teachers, national and sub-national government representatives from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS), parents of children with disabilities, project staff, disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs)
- Observations of Khmer literacy instruction in 140 early grade classrooms
- Household interviews with 200 parents of children with and without disabilities
- Teacher training observations, pre-post training surveys, and teacher focus group discussions
The MCSIE evaluative questions broadly focus on the following five themes: 1) process of implementing inclusive programming, 2) identification of learners with disabilities, 3) teacher training models to support learners with disabilities, 4) instructional models to support reading for learners with disabilities, and 5) unintended consequences of project activities.
In this panel presentation, discussions of ACR-Cambodia implementation will help to shed light on the following questions:
• What strategies have helped to ensure the implementation of inclusive early grade literacy programming for children with and without disabilities in Cambodia?
• What inclusive teaching strategies have ACR-Cambodia teachers learned that could benefit teachers elsewhere?
• What challenges or barriers in delivering an inclusive education project should future implementers and organizations consider?