The Education Sector Has No Quality because the Teacher’s Salaries Are Small and Insufficient to Cover Their Daily Livelihood Expenses – Thursday, 26.3.2009

Posted on 27 March 2009. Filed under: Week 605 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605

(Newly edited, corrected version – apologies: we had first uploaded an uncorrected version)

“The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association conducted a survey in mid 2008 in nine of the 24 provinces around the country with 430 teachers, among whom 23.91% are female, 46.37% of them are primary school teachers where 30.37% are female, 28.26% are secondary school teachers where 23.84% are female, and 25.21% of them are high school teachers where 12.60% are female. All responses honestly expressed accurately the actual facts in their situation as teachers, and the responses leave concerns for youth and for the nation in the future.

“The president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher’s Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, said during a press conference in the morning of 25 March 2009 that according to the findings of the survey about the conditions of teachers and the education sector, the association is worried about the inactivity of about 53.91% of teachers who do not teach regularly. 93.04% of teachers said that the rate of students dropping out of school is high and, 45% consider that the education sector has no quality, and only 52.39% said that the education sector has pretty good quality.

“Mr. Rong Chhun asked the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen to solve some issues as follow:

  1. Increase the value of a basic teaching unit for teachers from Riel 720 to Riel 2,000 per unit in 2009 in order to eliminate irregular teaching.
  2. Promote quality education to be as good as education elsewhere in the region.
  3. Eliminate corruption and poverty to cut down the rate of students dropping out of schools.
  4. Create sufficient schools and employment for teachers and for graduate students.

“Mr. Rong Chhun told reporters that based on the findings of the survey, 48% of teachers care to teach their students regularly. They said that they must be responsible for their obligation and role toward students and must have conscience and pity toward Khmer students of the next generations despite facing difficulties in their livelihood and earning improper salaries, making them unable to live and worker better.

“Mr. Rong Chhun stated that 53.91% of teachers are not attending school regularly, and they do not care about their students. As their justification for this unqualified teaching, teachers put the blame on the government that does not increase their salaries enough, so that their daily lives challenge them with difficulties and they have to take part of their time to do other jobs to earn money to support their families. 1.08% do not attend school regularly and do not care about their work and student’s future at all, and they just try to find another job and make some arrangement with school administrators or district and provincial education officials by paying them some kickbacks monthly.

“Mr. Rong Chhun added that in that survey, 6.95% of teachers responded that students do not drop out of schools, claiming that students understand the value of education to be important for their future and that they want to be good citizens in society. He went on to say that 93.4% of teachers said that the rate of students dropping out of school is high and the survey found that 40.85% of primary students drop out of school, 38.55% of secondary students, and 32.64% of high school students. This percentage shows that the education sector falls into a hazardous condition.

“Teachers claim that students drop out of school because of poverty, lack of means for traveling, or finding jobs at factories. Students spend much time to buy lesson handouts, test papers, sweet snacks, and candy from their teachers. Because some teachers take money from students and most teachers do not teach regularly, students drop out of school and lack self-confidence.

“Mr. Rong Chhun continued to say that 2.60% of the teachers responded that the quality of education is good because of the attention of students and because of the efforts of teachers who work without caring about their small or big salaries.

“He added that 52.39% of the teachers assessed that the quality of education is pretty good, and problems exist because students are absent a lot, and take their time out to earn money to support their living.

“45% of the teachers considered that the quality of education is poor, or that it has no quality, because at the schools, there are no proper exams following a set standard plan which would require 95% of the students from a class, in addition the number of students per class is too high, there is a lack of books for students, and there are many types of gambling sites around schools. Teachers earn low salaries, are not satisfied to teach, and spend time to teach additional private classes. The social environment is bad and this attracts students to be corrupt in their education [e.g. they pay some money to their teachers so that not all days when they were absent will be noted down]. If students are poor, teachers do not teach them and care only about their stomach, students are frequently absent and do not want to study because they think that they will not get jobs after they have graduated. This disappoints them.

“At the end the survey is pointing out that the [second] principle of the Millennium Development Goals is not followed successfully, which has the aim to ‘ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling,’ though this is also set as the national plan of the Royal Government. To achieve this strategic goal, education for all, and with quality, the Royal Government has to provide proper salaries for teachers, and has to provide sufficient study materials and schools.” Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, 46, 26.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 26 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #46, 26.3.2009

  • The Education Sector Has No Quality because the Teacher’s Salaries Are Small and Insufficient to Cover their Daily Livelihood Expenses
  • [The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Mr. Chea Mony Plans to Lead a Demonstration [against factories’ owners who do not release the salaries of workers, and who dismiss trade union leaders from their factories]
  • The Chi Kraeng District’s Citizens Sued the Siem Reap governor, Mr. Sou Phirin, and the Armed Forces [for their attempt to kill them, after they shot citizens resulting in four people seriously injured]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #149, 26.3.2009

  • Conditions at the Preah Vihear Temple Is Very Tense after Nearly 100 Siamese [Thai] Troops Entered into the Veal Intry Region
  • The Cambodian Embassy in England Reacts against the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Report
  • [A leading mobile phone company of Cambodia] Mobitel Borrows US$100 Million from the International Finance Corporation [a member of the World Bank Group] to Expand Network Capacity

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1907, 26.3.2009

  • China Asks for the Creation of a New Currency for the World [to replace the dollar as the international reserve currency]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6612, 26.3.2009

  • Four Unidentified Men Came to Shoot Dead a Military Officer in His Home [Siem Reap]
  • Another House Storing and Producing Drugs Was Found in Takeo [related to the one in Phnom Penh recently raided]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4855, 26.3.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen] Asks the Korean Parliament to Support the Korean Government to Help Develop Cambodia
  • The National Election Committee Prepares to Print Nearly 60,000 Ballots for [district-provincial/city] Council Elections
  • The Minister of Commerce [Mr. Cham Prasidh]: Exports of Cambodia Faces Obstacles due to Disagreement [between the Ministry of Commerce and different other institutions – the total export in 2008 was only more than US$3,356 million]
  • Canada and England Are Also Big Markets of Cambodia [in 2008, Canada accepted goods worth more than US$212 million from Cambodia and stands in second rank, and England had approx. US$164 million, while the USA, the biggest import country of Cambodian goods, had US$2,041 million]
  • Japan Provides a US$35 Million Loan for the Construction of Clean Water Factories
  • Approximately US$200 Million per Year Is Lost in Traffic Accidents

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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Thursday, 28.8.2008: Nephews of Khmer Prime Minister Cause Five People to Die during Third Term Royal Government

Posted on 29 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

“Nephews of Prime Minister Hun Sen have caused four people to die in traffic accidents during the third term government that will come to an end next month. Relatives of innocent people who died because of Mr. Hun Sen’s nephews mostly were paid US$4,000 in order to save the perpetrators from being convicted.

“Early 2004, a nephew of Mr. Hun Sen was involved in a traffic accident near a fence at the Olympic Stadium where he was with his group of children of the rich, causing four innocent people to die, because of a brutal gun fire. In that event, a nephew of the Prime Minister who holds the surname Hun and his group drove a car and hit people, but none was injured. After chatting with each other for a moment, a heavy shootout with firearms started; it was the gunfire from the faction of Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew which hit a seller of Lout Chha – a fried rice and coconut seller – resulting in the death of four people, and then the perpetrators and their group paid US$4,000 to the families of each victim.

“Also, a nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Hun Chea, drove a car and hit a person, killing him, in Phnom Penh last week, and the perpetrator paid US$4,000 compensation, like in the killing of four people in 2004.

“However, causing a person to die this time agitates people from the legal profession as well as a well-known newspaper of the United States. Furthermore, officials of the government said that a person who causes the death of another person like this will not be able to avoid a conviction according to the law.

“A lawyer, an official of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, reported to The Cambodia Daily that drivers involved in accidents that result in the death of a persons cannot legally escape from a conviction of a crime by paying a compensation to the family of the dead victim.

“However, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government spokesperson, seemed to protect the perpetrator, Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew, in a press conference on Sunday.

“It is reported that Mr. Hun Chea, Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew, had paid a compensation of US$4,000 to the family of the victim who rode on his small motorcycle and died through the accident, but there is no legal action taken. Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that doing so [paying a compensation to the victim’s family] is legal in Cambodia.

“Lawyer Kea Eav, also an expert in traffic law, and Mr. Ung Chun Hour, the director of the Transportation Department of the Ministry of Public Work, said that anyone who causes an accidents that leads to the death of another person, cannot legally avoid a criminal investigation and prosecution towards finding solutions according to the criminal code. They recognized, however, that this law is frequently not practiced. Mr. Kea Eav criticized the speech of Minister Khieu Kanharith as a misunderstanding, as it is against the law that the authorities would let such cases to be solved on the basis of compensation payments. He added, ‘Accidents which result in the death of another person are a crime that cannot be solved through compensation. A compensation payment cannot stop criminal proceedings.’

“Mr. Ung Chun Hour, a co-drafter of the new traffic law, said that frequently, the authorities violate this law to solve problems through compensation payments outside of the judicial system. He continued to say, ‘They are wrong, if they do not use the judicial system, though frequently also the victims’ families want to avoid to use legal procedures which take very long before a solutions is achieved.’

“Mr. Jeffrey M. Kahan, a legal and development advisor of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said that there is not one clause in the legislative procedure code which allows a compensation payment to stop a clearly criminal procedure.

“The traffic law states, ‘Anyone who causes an accident which leads to an unintentional killing will be convicted to serve from one to three years in prison, and will be charged with between Riel 2 million [approx. US$490] and Riel 6 million [approx. US$1,480]. This clause does not talk about compensation.’

“Mr. Joel Brinkley, a well-known writer, whose article was published in the Modesto Bee in California/USA, wrote an article on 22 August 2008 with the title ‘The world leader in corruption is – Cambodia.’ This article pointed to an accident caused by a nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen, killing an innocent person, but the perpetrator was able to avoid to be caught in the net of the law. This article in the Modesto Bee makes officials of the government feel uneasy, as the Minister of Information tried to explained things in a press conference on Sunday.

“As a matter of fact, during the third term government, Mr. Hun Sen’s nephews caused the death of five people, and this does not include such different cases as that Oknha Hun To hit Mr. Nuon Vuthy, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, a few days ahead of the election, at the Prek Kdam Ferry Dock.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #231, 28.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 28 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1731, 28.8.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Announces Cancellation of Negotiation [on removal of all troops from the Preah Vihear Temple] Scheduled to Be Held in Siem Reap on 29 August [due to the crisis in Thailand, reports Kampuchea Thmey – but a Thai Foreign Ministry statement denied that the cancellation is related to the Bangkok demonstrations]
  • Siamese [Thai] Criminal Court Prepares to Issue Arrest Warrants for the Leaders of the Demonstrations
  • Election Observation Supplies Worth More Than US$180,000 Transferred by European Community to 17 Cambodian Non Governmental Organizations
  • Number One [condom plus brand] Lubricant Is Surprisingly Used [by women factory workers] to Cure Pimples [Sihanoukville]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #231, 28.8.2008

  • Nephews of Khmer Prime Minister Cause Five People to Die during Third Term Royal Government


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #84, 28.8.2008

  • Cambodia and Thailand Will Cooperate to Promote Tourism at the Preah Vihear Temple Area [according to The Nation of Thailand]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6435, 28.8.2008

  • Traffic Accidents in Cambodia: More Than Four People Die Each Day; in 2007, More Than 1,000 People Died and More Than 7,000 Were Injured


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3550, 28.8.2008

  • US Federal Bureau of Investigation Prepares to Investigate the Murder of a Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4679, 28.8.2008

  • Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos Sign Border Agreements


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3395, 28.8.2008

  • Siem Reap Governor [Sou Phirin] Allows Businesspeople to Cut 60 Hectares of Flooded Forest Where Fish Lay Eggs
  • Boeng Kak Lake Residents Worried and Concerned While the Company Tests Soil Pumping [from the Mekong to the Lake] for the First Time [Phnom Penh]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – some fundamental challenges into the future

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Saturday, 12.7.2008: New Measures of the European Union for Biofuel Were Shown to ASEAN Countries

Posted on 13 July 2008. Filed under: Week 568 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 568

“In a regional workshop organized in Jakarta on 11 July 2008, the European Commission discussed its proposal for a new Directive (European legislation) on renewable sources of energy, including biofuels.

“Participants from all ASEAN countries attended this event. This workshop was chaired by Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, the Head of the European Commission Delegation to the Philippines, and important speakers in this workshop were senior experts from the Energy, and from the External Relations Directorates-General of the European Commission in Brussels. Also, officials of four ASEAN countries presented their countries’ policies about renewable energy and biofuel.

“The drafts Directive, which is expected to be adopted early next year, has set the policies for renewable energy for all states which are members of the European Union, so that the use of renewable energy among the use of other energy resources in the European Union will increase. This Directive is part of the climate change policies of the European Union, and it aims to define renewable energy goals on the national levels, setting joint obligations in order to achieve a use of 20% of renewable energy, and setting minimum goals to use at least 10% of energy in the form of renewable energy, such as biofuel, in transportation, by 2020, which has to be accomplished by all member states.

“Consequently, it is expected that bioenergy production in Europe will increase, and the import of plant oil used in biofuel in Europe will also increase.

“Therefore, this Directive also sets requirements for the environmental sustainable production of biofuel, to guarantee that biofuel, which is part of the renewable energy policy of the European Union, is produced by using sustainable methods which do not harm the environment. The European Commission will regularly check and report on the influence of bioenergy production on the prices of food, although recent analysts showed that there is only little impact.

“Southeast Asia is a region which produces a lot of plant oil, especially palm oil. This Directive will create many new opportunities for all of the Southeast Asian Countries, because it will likely lead to increasing imports from oil producing countries into the European Union.

“With the price of oil at current levels, more use of renewable energy is seen as a good choice for the economy. Moreover, these forms of energy also contribute to guarantee the security of energy supply, and they contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission.

“However, some hazards for the environment were also pointed out regarding the use of biofuel. The sustainability requirement has to guarantee also that the biofuel policy is not against the goals of environmental protection. The same requirement will be implemented for biofuel produced in the European Union as well as in other countries outside of the European Union. Therefore the same requirements everywhere do not present an obstacle against trade. This requirement aims to achieve a minimum level of the emission of greenhouse gas, and it aims to follow some other required conditions related to the environment, especially to protect bio-diversity.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1691, 12.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 12 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1691, 12.7.2008

  • New Measures of the European Union for Biofuel Were Shown to ASEAN Countries
  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong: Khmer Artifacts Stolen from the Preah Vihear Temple by Thailand Will Be Reclaimed Back [he stated during a press conference on 8 July 2008]
  • Metered Taxis Started Their Business in Phnom Penh [by Global (Cambodia) Trade Development Co. Ltd., a Chinese company] [on 11 July 2008]
  • Pailin Has Still 207.8 Square Kilometer of Land Infested with Landmines [according to Mr. Heng Ratana, deputy director of Cambodian Mine Action Center – CMAC]
  • [Former Thai Prime Minister] Thaksin Ranks Sixteenth among the 40 Richest People in Thailand


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #197, 12.7.2008

  • [President of Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun Asks [Minister of Education] Kol Pheng to Intervene in the Case of Lost Salaries of Teachers in Remote Areas
  • “The Line of Those Who Steal from the Nation” and Some Dishonest Businesspeople Are Cleaning Their Names through the Preah Vihear Temple [by distributing money to help citizens and soldiers there]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #47, 12.7.2008

  • Only 200,000 [of 340,000] Workers Will Go to Vote [because of the rise of the price of goods and of transport – according the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers Mr. Chea Mony; but the secretary-general of the National Election Committee Mr. Tep Nitha Rejected this number]
  • Khmer Citizens Are Disappointed with the Flow of Thai Pigs into the Country
  • Situation in the Middle East Is Tough after Iran Tested Its Missiles


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6395, 12.7.2008

  • [Mr. Khim Sambou] A Reporter of Moneaksekar Khmer [a Pro-Sam Rainsy Party newspaper] and His Son Were Shot by [two] Unidentified Men after Returning from Exercising at the Olympic Stadium [the father died after he was referred to hospital while his son is in a serious condition – 11 July 2008]
  • Director of KCBN Travel [Oknha Heng Tola] Plans to Spend His Company’s Money to Gather Tourists and Bring Them to the Preah Vihear Temple [every week in order to help the people living at the mountain, after the border-crossing was closed by the Cambodian authorities]
  • The United Nations Asks for US$300 More for Burma


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4639, 12.7.2008

  • President of the Puea Pandin party [which is part of the coalition government of Mr. Samak] of Thailand Escapes from an Arrest Warrant [over a corruption case] to Hide Himself in Poipet [according to Thai media on 11 July 2008 – he and another candidate were found guilty, after the Thai Election Commission had asked the Thai Supreme Court to revoke their electoral rights, after they had been found to have arranged transport for people to attend their campaign rally, and had handed out cash to voters]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3357, 12.7.2008

  • Civil Society Wants to See Khmer Politicians to Be Brave like Siem [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Nappadon Pattama] Who Resigned from His Position

Have a look at the last editorial – Without freedom of information AND an active use of this freedom, emotions can easily lead to dangerous misunderstandings.

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