CERC Monograph Series


Balancing the Books: Household Financing of Basic Education in Cambodia


By Mark Bray & Seng Bunly


ISBN 10: 962-8093-39-8; ISBN 13: 978-962-8093-39-7. (2005, 113pp.)

HK$100 (local), US$16 (overseas)

published by Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) in collaboration with Human Development Unit, East Asia & Pacific Region, The World Bank


Especially in less-developed countries, governments face great difficulties in financing education systems. Households commonly have to make major contributions of resources in order to bridge the gaps.

      Cambodia is among the countries in which government capacity has been particularly constrained, and in which the household costs of schooling have been especially high. This situation has created a major burden for poor families, and has exacerbated social inequalities. The Cambodian authorities in conjunction with donor agencies have devised policies to address the problem. They have had some significant successes, though many challenges remain.

This book presents empirical data on the household costs of primary and lower secondary schooling. It builds on previous research which received considerable attention both nationally and internationally, and shows changes over time. The book has wide conceptual and policy significance, not only within Cambodia but also internationally.


Mark Bray is Chair Professor of Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong. He has written extensively on aspects of methodology in comparative education, and on the administration and financing of education systems. Seng Bunly is the Director of BN Consult in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He has conducted many consultancies for local and international agencies.


Table of Contents:

  • Introduction

  • Household Financing of Education: Comparative Perspectives

  • Cambodia: Society, Economy and Education

  • Methods of Data Collection

  • Household Costs

  • Opportunity Costs

  • Government Funds and other School-Level Receipts

  • Balances between Household and Government Financing

  • Policy Implications

  • Conclusions


This book is available for download:


Table of Content




Notes on the Authors

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