Cambodia: Literacy by Listening


Bible Society Cambodia (BSC) launched The Learning Through Listening literacy project in 2003 to teach people how to read, by reading the Bible. Each year the program empowers non-literate people so they can develop their literacy skills and contribute more effectively to their communities. It also means they can read the Scriptures for their own personal growth.


Illiteracy can expose Cambodian people to shame, fraud and exploitation and often keeps people in poverty. Many of the youth and adult populations of rural Cambodia have not had the opportunity to receive a quality education due to the nation’s history of devastating war and genocide.

The most non-literate people in Cambodia are those who are hard to reach (remote populations, ethnic minorities, migrants, and people with disabilities), and this accounts for the slow improvement rate in literacy. Teachers, particularly in rural areas, are also paid low salaries, with many teaching their students for only two hours a day so they can earn additional income elsewhere.


  • 84% of adults are literate in Cambodia (2022, World Bank Data)
  • 61.3% of students complete primary school (UN data) despite a 98.2% net enrolment ratio

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