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Ketsana keeps schools shut

Children play in a flooded schoolyard in Kampong Thom after Typhoon Ketsana shut down schools around the kingdom earlier this month.

FLOODING caused by Typhoon Ketsana has put the studies of thousands of students on hold as schools throughout the Kingdom struggle to reopen, officials said Wednesday.

Chroeng Limsry, director of the Secondary Education Department at the Ministry of Education, said teachers were preparing to make up for lost time.

“We’re going to give our students extra class hours, but we’re still waiting for the water to subside before anyone can come back to school,” he said.

Kompong Cham province’s education department director Svay Phalla said the Mekong River flood following the typhoon initially closed 114 schools, but that the number was changing all the time. “I see some schools opening, but others continue to close,” he said.

Chea Cheat, Phnom Penh Education Department director, said 10 primary schools and three high schools in Phnom Penh remain closed, affecting 10,000 students.

Chea Sum Sothea, secretary of Trapaing Veng primary school in Stung Sen district, Kampong Thom province, said the water there was still knee-deep.

“Students are bored with the delay, and teachers are worried they cannot complete the year’s curriculum”, he said. Teachers are due to discuss ways to make the curriculum fit within the shortened term.

Keo Vy, communication officer at the National Committee for Disaster Management estimated that Typhoon Ketsana had cost Cambodia at least $29.3 million in damages and killed about 40 people, mostly in flooding caused by heavy rains. He said the committee would present its final evaluation of the typhoon’s impact at a meeting on Friday.

“We still need a clearer picture of the total damage caused by Ketsana. This assessment will help us set priorities for the ongoing relief effort,” Keo Vy said.

After tearing through the Philippines and Vietnam, Ketsana slammed into Cambodia on the night of September 29, pummeling the country with 185km/h winds and rain.



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