Education in Cambodia before Angkor Empire: Prehistory, Nokor Phnom, and Chenla Periods



  • Pisith Chin National University of Cheasim Kamchaymear, Kampong Cham Campus
  • Sereyrath Em Khemarak University, Phnom Penh
  • Sophea Phann Head of ASEAN Office, Department of Information and ASEAN Affairs, MoEYS, Phnom Penh
  • Sacha Seng National Institute of Education, Phnom Penh


Nokor Phnom, Chenla, Prehistory, Hinduism, Buddhism


Education is a fundamental human right that should be accessible to everyone, regardless of nationality or historical period. Education gives individuals the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed and contribute to society. It is essential for personal growth, development, and economic and social progress. Education promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, crucial for innovation and progress. Besides, education is a vital component of human development and progress, and all individuals must have access to quality education regardless of their nationality or period in history. The importance of education is not an exception for Cambodia. Thus, this article reviews the aspects of education in the history of Cambodia before the Angkor period using different documents for consolations. As a result, some fascinating findings proved that people during the prehistoric period learned by watching and doing, and people mostly learned from religions during the Nokor Phnom and Chela periods of Cambodia. The article then concludes the mentioned aspects in a few sentences and the important recommendations.


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Author Biographies

Pisith Chin, National University of Cheasim Kamchaymear, Kampong Cham Campus

Pisith Chin is the Executive Director of the National University of Cheasim Kamchaymear, Kampong Cham Campus. Currently, he is doing his Ph.D. in Educational Management at the National University of Cheasim Kamchaymear. 

Sereyrath Em, Khemarak University, Phnom Penh

Sereyrath Em is a Cambodian government teacher of English with a higher education degree working at Kith Meng Brasat high school, a visiting lecturer at the National University of Cheasim Kamchaymear (NUCK), and an Associate Managing Editor of the Cambodian Journal of Educational Research (CJER). Prior to this, he was a secondary school teacher of English and Khmer languages working at Darakum lower-secondary school between 2012 and 2015. In 2017, he graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA in TESOL) from Human Resource University (HRU), and in 2019, he graduated with a Master of Education in Educational Administration from the National Institute of Education (NIE) with the support from Cambodia International Education Support Foundation (CIESF). Then he was also trained at Regional Language Center (RELC) two times between early 2020 and early 2021 concerning teaching listening, speaking, reading, and writing. His research interests include English language teaching, teaching methodology, educational management, educational leadership, learning and teaching motivation, and learning and teaching challenges. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Administration at Khemarak University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Sophea Phann, Head of ASEAN Office, Department of Information and ASEAN Affairs, MoEYS, Phnom Penh

Sophea Phann is currently the Head of the ASEAN Office and an English curriculum developer at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), Cambodia. He has served as a Governing Board Member of SSEAYP International Cambodia since 2017. He earned a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL), Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) in 2009, and he graduated with a Diploma in Applied Linguistics and English Curriculum Development from SEAMEO Regional Language Center, Singapore in 2013.


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How to Cite

P. Chin, S. Em, S. Phann, and Sacha Seng, “Education in Cambodia before Angkor Empire: Prehistory, Nokor Phnom, and Chenla Periods”, J.Gen.Educ.Humanit., vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 323–336, Sep. 2023.