Private Tuition in Cambodia: Evidence from Urban and Rural Upper Secondary Schools

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Vutheavy Chim
Sopha Soeung


This study compares private tuition (PT) patterns and perceptions regarding teaching and learning in public schools versus PT classes in urban and rural Cambodia. Using quantitative data from 108 tutors and 165 12th graders, followed by 21 interviews that included principals, we find that urban students are the main drivers of PT; they trust the quality of tutors they are familiar with, while their rural peers view PT as more effective when provided by their teachers. Nonetheless, examination reform may have prompted more students to seek PT with tutors who could provide adequate knowledge and skills, as opposed to their teachers. Furthermore, hurried teaching was perceived as a common response to dealing with inadequate instructional time and the pressures of trying to implement a learner-based approach. This investigation provides new insights into issues relating to teacher professionalism and students’ choice of PT in Cambodia.


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