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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen muses odds on teacher prize win

Hun Sen muses odds on teacher prize win

Cambodian teacher Neang Phalla stood no chance of winning the Global Teacher Prize when she flew to Dubai earlier this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen reasoned yesterday, as the fact former US President Bill Clinton attended the ceremony signalled the award was going to an American.

“Even though the result of the vote was not announced they had prepared for the winner,” Hun Sen said yesterday during a speech at Phnom Penh’s Institute of Technology.

“Clinton was already invited, which meant a teacher from the US won.”

Although missing out, top-10 finalist Phalla, who has worked for 25 years at Krousar Thmey’s schools for the disabled, was named a goodwill ambassador for global education, awarded a gold medal and given $2,500.

“The candidate was already elected, we had just gone there as an honoured guest,” added Hun Sen, who yesterday awarded Phalla 100 million riel for her work in education.

“But the top 10 is enough for us, even if the top 50, I was also happy.”

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ronsdavid's picture

With Bill Clinton's invitation, the winner of this competition was most definitely decided well ahead of the event. There is absolutely no question about that.
Notwithstanding the disappointment, congratulations to Ms Neang Phalla for her dedication and contributions in advancing education in the Kingdom of Cambodia. What an admirable lady!

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