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Banteay Meanchey floods force closures of over 50 schools

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Sesen Secondary School is flooded in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district on Monday. OUM REATREY VIA FACEBOOK

Banteay Meanchey floods force closures of over 50 schools

More than 50 schools in Banteay Meanchey province have been closed due to flooding, according to Chhou Bunroeung, director of the provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport.

“In addition to Covid-19, floods have a negative impact on the education of students, especially the 9th and 12th graders who are preparing for the upcoming exams,” he said.

He added that Covid-19 had forced schools and educational institutions across the country to close for several months, including 512 schools and educational institutions in Banteay Meanchey, to prevent the spread of the disease.

Following permission from the government and the education ministry on September 13, nearly 300 schools in the province have reopened. But floods in recent days had affected 54 schools, forcing them to temporarily close to prevent further risks to students and teachers.

“Some schools have been flooded, making it impossible for students to study. Other schools have been submerged to near knee-deep levels. Although the schools have been flooded and closed again, students can continue their distance learning programmes.”

Pin Davy, principal of Tean Kam Secondary School in Tean Kam Tbong village of Preah Netr Preah district’s Tean Kam commune, told The Post that for the safety of students and teachers, he decided to temporarily close the school as floodwaters had inundated the school grounds.

“For Grade 9 students who are set to prepare for the exam, I recommend that teachers teach them under the distance learning programme recommended by the education ministry and provincial department. But I believe that students from poor families are not able to learn through this programme.”

Davy added that the floods in Banteay Meanchey continued to rise as the rainfall persisted in the upper part of the Thai border. Some people in Tean Kam commune also came to live on high ground.

The rescue team of the National Committee for Disaster Management and provincial authorities on September 29 continued to monitor the situation and brought along donations for 736 families who are temporarily staying under the tent roofs on high ground.

Provincial health department director Le Chansangvat said in each safe location, at least two health workers were on standby to consult and treat some minor illnesses such as fever, colds and coughing.

He said due to the flooding, challenges are likely to arise for local people who lack sanitation and are exposed to venous animals.

“In addition to collecting samples of migrant workers returning from Thailand for Covid-19 testing, our teams of medics have gone to local areas to disseminate guidelines on health and ways to prevent infectious diseases. In times of the floods, there are a lot of problems happening to the people in the flooded areas,” he added.

He said that in September, there were 46 cases of snake bites. The victims were taken to nine referral hospitals in one town and eight districts.

Chansangvat urged all residents to regularly maintain good personal hygiene to prevent infectious diseases in accordance with the health ministry’s guidelines.

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