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Anti-graft programs launch

Two anti-corruption initiatives were announced yesterday to encourage transparency and ethically engaged citizenship, particularly among Cambodia’s youth.

Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and the Ministry of Education will implement anti-corruption textbooks into the secondary school curriculum.

Topics including morality, civics, cleanliness and how to avoid “vices” will be taught to grades 7 through 9; a move that was first implemented in grades 10 through 12 last year, according to Om Yentieng, ACU chief.

“The education will be offered to students to understand their rights, duties, actions and consequences before making any decisions,” added Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron.

However, Chhay Yavy, acting president of Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, said students would be better served learning about the history of their country instead.

“The higher-ups should set a good example for the next generation – [that] would look much better,” she said.

The minister of education and ACU chief also said they will continue reforming high school exams, due to be held on August 24.

The second push was made by Transparency International (TI) with the launch of the Anti-Corruption Card program yesterday.

Nearly 8,000 clear blue wallet-sized cards were distributed, each inscribed with a confidential call-in line to report corruption to the ACU by dialing “1282”.

Card-carriers can also seek legal advice by dialing “7777”.

“We have seen corruption reports increasing gradually since the cards were distributed,” said Preap Kol, executive director of TI.

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