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Education ministry toughens its stance on school violence

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The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport warned that students found guilty of committing offences thrice will face expulsion. Fresh News

Education ministry toughens its stance on school violence

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport called on its capital and provincial departments across the country to improve and implement the student code of conduct. It also called on parents to take part in preventing the proliferation of youth gangs.

Students found guilty of committing offences thrice will face expulsion, warned the ministry.

The instruction came after a series of school violence and disturbances drew alarm and disapproval from social media users.

On Saturday, a student from the capital’s American Intercon School (AIS) was fatally injured after getting into a fight with a fellow student.

The victim was sent to a hospital on Street 430, Village 2 in Boeung Keng Kang district’s Tumnop Teuk commune but succumbed to his injuries.

The incident was followed by another case of school violence wherein a group of girls, aged 15-16, beat up another female student in Hun Sen Bun Rany Phsar Doeum Thkov High School.

Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post on Sunday that his ministry had already instructed its departments to strengthen instruction against school violence.

The ministry, he said, would issue an announcement on Monday regarding the recent outbreak of violence caused by school youths. Youth councils would also be enhanced and urged to take part in preventing such incidents from continuing.

He warned that the ministry’s legislation department would enforce a joint measure for such offences. Students caught on their first offence will be summoned by the school management and receive instruction.

A second offence will warrant due punishment while third-time offenders will be expelled from school.

Soveacha said: “These are the general measures of the ministry. If a student commits an offence within the jurisdiction of the local authorities, then the student will be punished under the law.

“The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport calls on relevant parties, particularly parents, members of the community and the authorities to continue participating in preventing these cases from happening.”

The recent incidents of violence drew criticism from social media users. Some blamed the Kingdom’s weak education sector while others criticised the parents who neglect their children and fail to educate them on proper etiquette.

Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Ouk Chhayavy said the blame lay on neither side because the students’ actions were caused by several factors, not just one.

She said the widespread use of social media in the Kingdom could have also contributed to the violent behaviour.

She noted that the bad behaviour of leaders and personalities as seen in social media could also have influenced the impressionable minds of the youths.

“I would like everyone to use appropriate language when communicating with one another. Please avoid cursing or threatening to kill other people because we need to set a good example for the younger generation.

“If we, the leaders and parents, exhibit inappropriate behaviour, they will follow our actions. We don’t want that.

“Even civic education is not closely observed in class. Students have forgotten the code of ethics and professionalism, which has led to a decline in morality in the Kingdom. I call on everyone to rethink their actions,” said Chhayavy.

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