Report calls for foreign teacher trainers, higher salaries

August 27th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Cambodia must significantly increase teachers’ salaries and import the best teacher trainers from abroad in order to combat a continuously widening gap between the skills employers are looking for and those the country’s graduates are able to provide, a new report says.

Facing the worst student-teacher ratio in the world outside of Africa, Cambodia needs more and better-qualified teachers to overcome both low enrollment and poor education in the country, says Srinivasa Madhur, research director at the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, in a report released by the organization Tuesday. …

Zsombor Peter

Campaign promotes free textbooks for students

August 26th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Two NGOs on Monday launched an online campaign to galvanize public support for providing students with free textbooks after a survey found that 85 percent of high-school pupils lack the necessary books for their studies.

The Khmer Institute for National Development (KIND) and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP) on Monday commenced a 30-day Facebook drive to draw attention to the need for study aids and to lobby the government to increase the Ministry of Education’s budget for textbooks.

In a joint press release to announce the campaign, KIND and ANSA-EAP said they surveyed nearly 500 pupils last year at 33 high schools in Phnom Penh and three provinces—Kompong Cham, Kompong Speu and Kampot—and found that 85 percent of the students did not have the textbooks they needed to properly prepare for their exams. …

Khy Sovuthy

Hun Sen announces raises for teachers, nurses

August 22nd, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday announced a three-stage plan to raise the salaries of civil servants working under the Education and Health ministries, with the first increase to come in September.

Speaking to graduating students at Beltei University in Phnom Penh, Mr. Hun Sen said that the minimum monthly wage for teachers would be raised from about $105 to about $138 by April next year. …

Khy Sovuthy

Flooding delays school term across country

August 18th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The start of the school year has been delayed for a month due to flooding that has affected many of the country’s schools this month, the Ministry of Education said Sunday.

Ros Salin, spokesman and cabinet chief for the ministry, said that the school year will begin on November 1 rather than October 1 as originally planned. …

Ouch Sony

Poor education poses future risk for Cambodia

August 13th, 2014 , The Cambodia Herald

The Minister of Education, Hang Choun Naron, has officially announced on Monday that the second exam for 12th graders who fail this year exam will take place either at the end of September or early October. The announcement came after the Minister was reported that the percentage of high school students passing the recent exam would be low.

Naron said that scores for social science are relatively high whereas those for natural science are the opposite. Therefore, if numbers of those failing the exam are too high, re-exam will be arranged at the end of September or early October. …

The Cambodia Herald News Staff

Police officer among 3 accused of cheating

August 13th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Anti-Corruption Unit has announced that three people, including a police officer, who were arrested last week in Svay Rieng province after posing as students taking the grade 12 national exam, have been charged with using false identities.

In a statement released on Monday, the ACU identified the suspects as Sdeung Chanthun, 21, a grocery seller; Sao Samnang, 23, a university student; and policeman Un Botra, 25. …

Chhay Channyda

Youths mark Youth International Day

August 12th, 2014 , The Cambodia Herald

Representatives from worker unions, confederation and Cambodian youth rallied Tuesday at the Freedom Park to mark 15th Youth International Day.

After rallying at the Freedom Park, they marched to present petitions to the National Assembly, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, and Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training to demand government address their problems. …

The Cambodia Herald News Staff

Students who failed exam get second chance

August 12th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

As more than 90,000 students across the country sweat over results that will rule them in or out of university, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday announced that those who failed the tightly monitored 2014 national exam would be given a second chance to pass. …

In the wake of last week’s two-day exam—which was for the first time conducted under the eye of thousands of monitors recruited by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU)—teachers, proctors and observers predicted that pass rates would fall dramatically across the country as students’ attempts to cheat their way to graduation were thwarted. …

Matt Blomberg

Unions in push for park rally

August 8th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

As the razor-wire came down from Freedom Park on Wednesday, a group of unions quickly filed a request to be the first people to hold a demonstration inside the park since it was put into lockdown in early January.

The letter, obtained by the Post yesterday, calls on Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong to allow six unions to hold the rally on International Youth Day on Tuesday.

Sar Mora, president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation, said that the demonstration would call for higher salaries, improved working conditions, a better quality of education and vocational training for the Kingdom’s youths. …

Mom Kunthear and Alice Cuddy

Exam cleaner, but students still seek to cheat

August 5th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The Education Ministry’s bid to rid the grade 12 national exam of cheating and bribery was hailed a success after the first day of testing Monday, with officials reporting only a few attempted cheats and no corrupted proctors. …

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron, who spent the day touring Phnom Penh schools, said there was “very good discipline, no cheating.”

“There was no reported cheating, only one attempt to bring a smartphone into the class and no papers brought into the class,” said Mr. Naron, who explained that he had received reports from “almost all” of the provinces.

However, a perfect record was blemished, according to Mr. Naron, by three cases of imposters attempting to sit the exam in the place of the registered student—two in Kandal province and one in Svay Rieng province. …

Sek Odom and Matt Blomberg

Cambodian high school students start exams for university entrance

August 4th, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

About 93,456 Cambodian high school students on Monday took the annual national high school graduation exams, which is a prerequisite for students to pursue their studies in a university level.

“A total of 93,456 high school students are taking the exams at 154 centers with 3,779 rooms throughout the country,” said a statement from the Ministry of Education, adding that the exams will last for two days. …

Xinhuanet News Staff

New rules for proctors

July 25th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

In its continuing campaign to clean up the grade 12 national exam, the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has warned that anyone caught leaking copies of the test or selling answers could find themselves imprisoned.

Punishments for misbehaving exam observers are spelled out in an ACU statement released yesterday, which splits penalties into three levels.

For smaller offences such as making noise, not wearing an ID pass or showing up late, observers will receive a warning. …

Chhay Channyda

Water plan for schools on tap

July 21st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

At nearly half of the Kingdom’s primary schools, students have to make a daily choice between drinking contaminated water or going thirsty, a dilemma the government hopes to soon banish with new minimum sanitation and safe water standards.

The guidelines, which have yet to be finalised but are intended for the upcoming school year, according to an Education Ministry official, include increasing infrastructure so that every primary school has one latrine per 50 students, half a litre of drinking water for each child and 2-3 litres of hand-washing water available per person. …

Laignee Barron

More than 2,000 register to observe national exam

July 15th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

More than 2,000 volunteers will be deployed to observe students taking the national exam in August, the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) said Monday, with the deadline for registration expiring Tuesday.

More than 93,000 students are registered to sit the August 4 to 5 exam at 154 exam centers across the country, each of which will have a representative of the ACU present, according to Ros Salin, spokesman for the Education Ministry. …

Kuch Naren and Matt Blomberg

Protest leads to second chance on nat’l exams

July 11th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Amid strict reforms to guard against rampant cheating on the high-stakes national exam, education officials yesterday showed surprising leniency towards underperforming grade 12 students.

In a notice released yesterday, the Ministry of Education instructed upper secondary schools to hold re-examinations for grade 12 students who failed semester tests. The redo will allow students a second shot at qualifying for the national exam – the Kingdom’s sole factor in determining college eligibility.

The last-minute change of heart was prompted by a Kampong Thom high school, where a third of the grade 12 class failed to achieve the passing two-semester average of at least 25 out of 50. …

Chhay Channyda and Laignee Barron

Cambodia Should Produce More Quality Human Resources, Rather Than Quantity

July 10th, 2014 , The Cambodia Herald

Cambodia has more labour forces than the jobs created every year. Hence, some students who have just graduated from the university can’t find jobs; they need some time to get jobs. Some young people have to sell their labour abroad. Despite the surplus of labour forces, this country still lacks quality human resources. …

Each year approximately 20.000 young people newly enter the job market in this poor Cambodia. Some of them can get the jobs right away but some have to wait for about one or two years. Some other people can’t have decent, full-time jobs. Owing to the lack of jobs and the low rate of salary of jobs in Cambodia, thousands of Khmer workers have decided to leave their hometowns and find jobs in other countries both legally and illegally. However, thousands of other Khmer young people are still jobless today. …

The Cambodia Herald News Staff

Transparency NGO pulls out as exam monitor

July 10th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Transparency International (TI) Cambodia on Wednesday announced it would not be dispatching observers to independently monitor the National High School Exams on August 4 and 5 after the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and Education Ministry said they would not allow reserve observers at exam halls.

TI says its internal policies require the organization to dispatch reserve observers in case those registered are unable to work on exam day. Education officials, however, say they need to have an exact list of names as to who will be observing on the day. …

Lauren Crothers