Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government urged to offer more textbooks

Government urged to offer more textbooks

Government urged to offer more textbooks

Two nonprofit organisations are urging the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to increase the number of textbooks for high school students, saying that an ongoing shortage is limiting their abilities.

The Khmer Institute for National Development (KIND) and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP) launched a monthlong social media awareness campaign yesterday, citing a report that more than 85 per cent of high school students do not have access to a complete set of textbooks.

“We want students to have 100 per cent of the books. We have offered recommendations; if [the government spends] $7 million, every student will get textbooks” as long as the books aren’t sold first to the black market, ANSA-EAP representative Sorn Chey said.

The two organisations said that the shortages of the basic books mean students are unable to “understand the lessons [or] do homework on time, and leads them to drop their studies”.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen, citing tougher regulations to crack down on cheating, predicted that not many students would pass the grade 12 national exam. His prediction came true; however, along with cheating, a lack of textbooks is one of many woes afflicting the education system. And it is not one that looks like it will be fixed any time soon, the groups said.

Lim Sotharith, chief of planning and textbook supplies at the Ministry of Education, said $6 million had been set aside to print between four million and five million books for primary through high school levels for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The figures are higher than those for 2013-2014, he said, and the ministry wants to encourage parents who can afford it to purchase textbooks that are legally produced for sale.

“In principle, this year, two students will still [have to share] a set of books. I support everyone getting a set, but we have to be approved by the ministry management,” Sotharith said. “We want guardians’ participation to buy textbooks for [students] because we believe people [who are better off] can afford them.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,