Arts Education in Cambodia

Its Social, Moral, and Economic Impact
  • Sam-Ang Sam
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 11)

Cambodia has gone through several chapters of history. Some of these have been happy, while others have been very bitter and painful, particularly those of the past three decades or so. The painful years started with the genocidal regime of the communist Khmer Rouge, which moved the history of Cambodia back to the year Zero. On the one hand, Cambodia has suffered a loss of culture, and on the other, some of the elite, fascinated by Western models, are losing their Khmer (Cambodian) way of life as they consider themselves to be totally different from the majority who are still traditionally conservative.

The principal theme of this article is a general overview of the state of arts education in Cambodia. The significance of arts and culture in Khmer society and the structure of arts education in the school system from primary to secondary and higher education is here examined and discussed. Insights are offered on how the arts are taught in the general school curriculum and their impact on investment in the youth, the education of the mind, the further development of Khmer arts and culture and economic development and growth in relation to arts education. I propose to examine the multi-faceted role that culture plays in social and economic development within the global context of the new millennium, focusing particularly on the value of Khmer culture, trends and possible future directions and cultural policies which are responsive to the needs of Khmer society and appropriate to it.


Traditional Culture Cultural Policy Khmer Rouge Cultural Programme Traditional Music 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chaumeau, C. 1996. A venerable plea for changes to the western way. Phnom Penh Post, 28 June–11 July 1996, p. 7.Google Scholar
  2. Committee for Education Funding 2001. Education Budget Alert for the Fiscal Year 2002. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  3. Heng, S.C. 1994. Stars shine to brighten lives. Phnom Penh Post, 18 November–1 December 1994, p. 7.Google Scholar
  4. Heywood, D. 1994a. King urges $12m theater cash to farms. Phnom Penh Post, 11–24 March 1994, p. 7.Google Scholar
  5. Heywood, D. 1994b. Teacher sees dance dream come true. Phnom Penh Post, 11–24 February 1994, p. 7.Google Scholar
  6. Heywood, D. 1995. The artist, the ambassador, the prince. Phnom Penh Post, 21 April–4 May 1995, p. 20.Google Scholar
  7. Hindle, R. 2002. The Maori arts in education. Paper presented at the UNESCO Regional Meeting of Experts on Art Education in the Pacific, Nadi, Fiji, 25–29 November 2002.Google Scholar
  8. Hor, L. 2001. Le Résumé de l’Université Royale des Beaux Arts. Phnom Penh: Université Royale des Beaux Arts.Google Scholar
  9. Ministry of Education, Youths and Sports 1997. Curriculum: Social Studies in Primary Education. Phnom Penh.Google Scholar
  10. Muscat, R. 1989. Cambodia. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
  11. Nouth, N. 1997. Cultural programme for social rehabilitation in Cambodia. Paper presented at the Inroads/Asia Conference, University of California at Los Angeles, 20–23 August 1997.Google Scholar
  12. Sam, S. 1998. Role of Khmer culture in economic development in the context of the new millennium. Khmer Studies. Phnom Penh: Royal Academy of Cambodia, pp. 83–99.Google Scholar
  13. Tuy, K. 1996. Danse classique Khmère. Paper presented at the Indonesian Dance Festival, Jakarta, Indonesia, 25 July.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sam-Ang Sam
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal University of Fine ArtsCambodia

Personalised recommendations