Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fewer school hours to beat the heat

Fewer school hours to beat the heat

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has announced that it is amending school study hours to lessen the risk of illness for teachers and students. Photo supplied

Fewer school hours to beat the heat

With temperatures reaching more than 40 degrees Celsius, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced on Thursday that it was amending school study hours to lessen the risk of illness for teachers and students, particularly those at kindergarten.

The ministry letter dated April 25 said morning classes will now run from 7am to 10:30am, with students leaving school at 11:00am. While in the afternoon, the study hours will be 1:30pm to 5pm. The afternoon times are unchanged.

When the hot season is over the hours will return to normal, the ministry said.

Spokesperson Ros Soveacha told The Post that the ministry had to carefully consider students’ health.

“The ministry realises that the heat is a factor affecting the educational performance of teachers and pupils alike,” he said.

Soveacha said the ministry continues to work with the National Committee for Disaster Management, which allows it to closely monitor the situation at all levels – including provincial education departments, district education offices and at schools themselves.

So far, Soveacha added, the ministry has not received any reports of major issues.

“This means that at all levels, we have been able to manage the problem and respond to the cases they have faced,” he said.

Lay Bora, the director of Kratie provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport, told The Post he had distributed the letter to public educational institutions in his province on Friday, but the changes had not been implemented last week.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A fire truck hoses down Chaktomuk Primary School in Phnom Penh on Saturday to reduce temperatures. Photo supplied

He said he will monitor how the letter is implemented this week. If temperatures drop, students will revert to normal school hours, but if the hot weather continues they must enforce the letter's requirements.

Bora said the half-hour reduction will cause students to lose study time, but it is important for their health.

“In Kratie town and some rural areas it has reached 40 degrees Celsius. We have seen temperatures of 41 degrees in some places. We're always prepared and, if problems arise, we will try to find solutions,” he said.

Veasna Voleak, the acting director of Kampong Chhnang's Chhnok Trou primary and secondary school, told The Post he had changed the school’s hours on Friday.

“I have already changed students' school hours after seeing the letter written by His Excellency [Education Minister] Hang Chuon Naron. We have changed from 7am to 10:30am and from 1:30pm to 5pm.”

He said temperatures at his school had reached 40 to 41 degrees Celsius and there are no trees to provide shade. As well as the extreme heat, he said, the school sometimes also lacked water.

Voleak said that when it is particularly hot, students are given permission to take off their shirts during lessons. He said he would like to provide pupils with small towels dipped in water to put on their heads, but the school simply did not have enough water.

To cope with the heat, the school suggests students splash their faces with water when there is enough available and asks them to bring bottled water from home to drink.

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training on Friday also called for workers to pay close attention to the Ministry of Health's information regarding preventing sickness caused by the sweltering heat.

It urged business owners to strictly implement the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training's 11 measures to avoid the risks posed by the heat wave.


  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Show evidence of Chinese military base, critics told

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said he had had enough of certain countries and opposition groups claiming Cambodia had allowed China to base its military in Cambodia and dared critics to show clear evidence. Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over a groudbreaking

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from