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US Association Opens English Schools in 14 Provinces

Nearly 2,000 students in rural areas will be able to study English, thanks to the efforts a US-based association.

The Cambodian American Association for Development, based in the California community of Long Beach, has provided aid to open 14 language schools in Battambang, Oddar Meanchey, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kandal, Kampong Cham and Kampong Thom provinces.

English is typically only taught in the urban centers of Cambodia, but fluency in the language often opens doors to employment.

Sar Sithan, a Cambodian American and former air force serviceman who works for the association, said the schools opened in 2006, after he visited Cambodia and found the English-language skills of many rural children was lacking.

"I went to the rural areas, and I said, 'Oh my goodness, there are still a lot of poor people, and education is still lagging behind,'" Sar Sithan told VOA.