Official blames increasing truancies on students wanting to spend more time with boyfriends, girlfriends rather than at school
MORE and more Cambodian high school
students are playing hooky, as they pay more attention to their love
lives than their studies.
Even though he knows it impacts his schoolwork, 19-year-old Chan Virak,
who is in the 12th grade at Preah Sisovat High School, said he usually
spends more time thinking about his girlfriend than studying.
"I have had a girlfriend since I was in the 10th grade, but I don't let
my parents know as I don't want them to stop me or blame me. Sometimes
I don't feel like taking an exam or studying when my girlfriend calls
me to go for a walk. I have to miss school to go with her, and if I
don't go she will be angry with me," Chan Virak said.
Doing what they want to do
Hoy Sochivanny, coordinator of the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), said parents didn't realise the
extent of truancy for love.
"Now there are a lot of young students who are crazy about love and are
going out without thinking about their studying," she said.
"Before, all high school students paid attention to their studies, but
now they don't care about their schoolwork. I think now they think they
know more about their rights, and some students say it is their right
to do what they want. It will only become more difficult if we do not
educate or pay attention to them," Hoy Sochivanny said.
Twenty-two-year-old Srey Moa said she had boyfriends when she was at high school and found this interfered with her schoolwork.
"I came to school every day but I rarely entered the class and
preferred to go for a walk with my boyfriend. I loved my boyfriend more
than study because love made me happier," she said.
There are a lot of young students who are crazy about love without thinking....
Keo Lay, 19, who studies in 11th grade at Preah
Sisovat also spends a lot of time with his girlfriend, but Keo Lay
thinks that being in love as a student is not bad and doesn't
necessarily have a negative impact.
"I think it is not bad to be in love when you are a student because it
can change you for the better. Before I always missed class, but since
I have had a girlfriend for a year, I have changed. Having a sweetheart
helps us to solve our problems together.
"It does not affect my studies because I concentrate on my studies and
schedule the time to make a date with her on the weekends," he said.
Hoy Sochivanny said CEDAW has plans to educate parents through
television and radio as well as work with schools to pay greater
attention to students' attendance.
"I think it is very difficult to try and make them change their habits
or feelings towards study, but we will try our best to change them to
be better students."