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National Assembly quizzes education minister

The national budget for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is slated to increase for the second year in a row, officials said yesterday at a meeting of parliament’s newly formed Education Commission.

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron and 11 others from the ministry were the first to be called in for questioning by one of the 10 newly convened commissions. Chuon Naron said he was quizzed on his reform platform, including this year’s grade 12 national exam.

“It is not difficult to answer, because it is my daily work.… It is normal for me. In the ministry, I also talk about these matters,” he said.

After debating teachers’ wage increases, teacher-student discipline and teachers’ bribe-taking, the commission applauded the Education Ministry’s work with a funding raise.

Last year, the education budget totalled 16.3 per cent of the $3.4 billion national budget; next year it will be allotted 17.3 per cent, Chuon Naron said.

Yem Ponhearith, chairman of the education commission, said he agreed with the minister’s reform agenda and had “no problem” with the results of the questioning session, which will be followed up after the school year starts in October.

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