Established in 2009, and transition in 2013.

There was a recent suggestion by Cambodian education professionals to abolish the Grade 9 exam in order to increase the numbers that proceed to high school. We don’t feel that this really addresses the root cause of the problem!

Student drop-out is a complex issue that can be addressed in many ways. All of our projects seek to promote the value of education. Grade 9 students received special attention throughout our Exam Preparation Classes and Dream Classes.

We’re committed to ensuring that students who are motivated to continue in education feel confident in sitting the required exams. PEPY Exam Preparation Classes provided support to Grade 9 students at Chanleas Dai Junior High School in the subjects of math, Khmer, chemistry and physics.

PEPY Empowering Youth (then PEPY) transitioned out of Exam Preparation classes in 2013 for the following reasons:

  1. Project life: We aim to run projects for 3-5 years. The Preparation Class had run for 5 years and we felt it was time to transit.
  2. After reassessing this project, PEPY Empowering Youth (then PEPY) Program staff felt this project did not match our Core Value “Focus on impact, not inputs. Invest in people, not things”, because this project uses money directly to the


  • 151 children to date have participated (2013)
  • At the end of July 2011, 89% of students who took the examination passed
  • At the end of July 2012, 96% of the students who took the examination passed
  • At the end of July 2013, 96% of the students who took the examination passed
  • 60% of the students achieved better-than-average grades (2012)
  • Students managed to get good exam scores on subjects they previously found difficult
  • One student said that the Preparation Classes have helped a lot in her studies and exams. She feels more confident in tackling exercises and exams after taking the classes.

Challenges / Lessons learned

  • We continually strive to work with parents to appreciate the benefits of successful completion of junior high and high school exams.
  • To understand the impacts extra tuition has on student’s knowledge, we implement an exam before and after completion of tuition classes.

For other communities taking on such a project, we recommended forming a group of interested participants to negotiate with the teacher they want to study with. Good persuasion skills are needed to get the teacher to cut the cost of teaching. After negotiation is complete, money raised from the group will go towards paying the teacher’s fees. 


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