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This part (41), Mr. Sophan Seng continued to analyse on Education Reform in Cambodia. The critics by Opposition Leader, Mr. Sam Rainsy, on the weakness of Cambodia education has been viewed differently according to the government’s responses. In reality, Cambodia education has faced many shortcomings such as school infrastructure, livable wage for teachers, up-to-date curriculum, and accreditation etc. Cambodian graduates regardless High School or Post Secondary, have not been endorsed by Asian nations or having equivalency with them.
In term of practical knowledge, his high school graduation as example could not enable himself to face up with the external world. He was taught overwhelmingly on academics but not citizenship, social adaptation, and leadership skills at all. Schooling for Cambodian future generation should not just focus on reading and writing Khmer language, or knowing math; but students can apply those knowledge in the real world.
On the other hand, the rebuttal from minister of MOEYs and Prime Minister Hun Sen, has been seen as self-defense rather than to accepting the reality and adjust the shortcomings accordingly.
The genesis of the culture of dialogue was the close-run 2013 general election when Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) came within a few hundred thousand votes (in an electorate of nearly 10 million) of losing the popular ballot to Rainsy’s CNRP.
With a youthful population tired of the cronyism, poor services and lack of opportunities available to them under a CPP government – and unreceptive to the ruling party’s mantra that it brought peace to Cambodia by defeating the Khmer Rouge – the trend was towards change.
The opposition is banking on that continuing and, with two-thirds of the population under 35, is confident of its chances in 2018. The CPP is understandably fearful, and has begun improving education (whose budget in 2016 will, at nearly $500 million, be double its 2013 level) while at the same time, perhaps ominously, shoring up the amount allocated to defense and the police (up nearly two-thirds over the same period to a combined $650 million).
Cambodia – Fractured politics and a culture of monologue
Over a year after Cambodia’s two main parties agreed on a “culture of dialogue,” the deal looks to have unraveled, with the PM warning only his re-election would keep the nation from civil war. Robert Carmichael reports.
The July 2014 agreement between Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy was born of a close-run general election the previous year and a subsequent deadlocked, and at times bloody, political process that saw the opposition refuse to take the 55 seats they had won until allegations about electoral fraud were addressed.
But eventually, after months of opposition-led protests and increasingly violent suppression by the authorities, the two sides came to an arrangement. Under its terms, Hun Sen and Rainsy agreed to discuss key issues, while party worthies would resolve lesser disputes.
This part (40), Mr. Sophan Seng continued to analyse the Education Reform in Cambodia through the measure of strict exam for High School students. According to the increase in state budget for Education Sector, it is a good move, but it has remained insufficient to ensure that modernization and standardization of this important part of long term development for Cambodia.
For the strict exam, it has triggered question on genuine reform of Education system in Cambodia. Strict exam might be happened to pressure on students and teachers who have been poorly supported by the state. Or strict exam may be happened to restore popularity after the continual bad reputation occurred inside the school compound.
Corruption has been rampant in Cambodia. Not only the corruption within the administrative and institution body, but the Education Sector has been infested by this social virus. Cambodia needs a bright and clear policy for Education Reform. Strict Exam is not responsive to Education Reform.