Road traffic accidents are one of the main causes of death and injury to children and youth in Cambodia. In 2007, statistics show that 9% of total fatalities were children/youth aged between 6 and 18 years old and over 4,500 injured (RTAVIS 2007) on account of road traffic accidents.

Furthermore, with half of Cambodia’s population under the age of fifteen, it is expected that in the coming 10 years, the proportion of road traffic casualties among young people will dramatically increase.

Experience shows that receiving road safety education as part of the formal school curriculum from the earliest age is one of the most effective strategies towards developing road safety awareness and behavior change leading towards reducing the number of accidents in the long term. Teaching safe behaviour from the earliest age can provide lifelong benefits to a population at risk and relieve the socio-economic burden on public health resources and society.

To counteract the rising trend of accidents and casualties affecting children, HIB, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and Educating New Zealand (ENZ) developed a road safety curriculum for primary (Grades 1-6) and lower secondary (Grades 7-9) schools. The project objective is to improve children’s road safety knowledge, attitudes and behaviour as road users.

To date, more than 800 primary schools are implementing the Grade 1-6 road safety curriculum in 24 provinces benefiting more than 650,000 students. Over 5,000 school directors/teachers, provincial/district education representatives received RSE curriculum trainings. Further more, the Grade 7-9 curriculum for lower secondary school is being implemented in 4 pilot areas, PP, Kg Speu, Battambang and Siem Reap benefiting more than 10,000 students.

Future plans include expanding the Grade 7-9 road safety curriculum to all 24 provinces. A curriculum will also be developed for upper secondary school (Grade 10-12) funded by the Asia Development Bank and AusAid, under the management of the National Road Safety Committee and the Ministry of Education and with technical support from Educating New Zealand and Handicap International Belgium.

 

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