Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 3 met with more than 1,700 students who passed their high school examinations last year with “A” grades.
Speaking at the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation’s (OCIC) exhibition hall in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, Hun Sen expressed his pleasure at meeting the 1,753 students from across the country.
“I’m really happy with this large number and I also take this opportunity to congratulate all 1,753 grade ‘A’ students and the parents of these outstanding students. My commiserations to those who did not pass the exams. I hope that you will use this setback as motivation, either to re-take the examinations, or to acquire professional skills in technical training schools,” he said.
The premier said that since the introduction of priority policies in education, close attention has been paid to the education of students at all levels.
He also praised the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for its efforts in facilitating the Grade 12 exams across the country, with fantastic results.
Hun Sen also took the opportunity to announce that students across the country were now a priority group for vaccinations.
“Previously, I focussed on civil servants, teachers and the armed forces, or what we called the front-line priority group. Now, to ensure the safety of students, they are to be added to the priority list,” he said.
The premier also noted that the education and health ministries were the only two that would be allowed to recruit additional staff at the present, with no new positions being created in any other state institutions.
“We have given priority to the education and health sectors. They are related to each other, and are the only two areas we are recruiting in. We will always put a premium on education of course, and we are opening new hospitals, which require more medical specialists,” he added.
In other areas, Hun Sen said he will not recruit for new positions, but will only replace staff who are retiring.
Education minister Hang Chuon Naron said the increase in grade A students was due to their efforts and the ministry’s ability to provide many kinds of opportunities and support for them to learn.
He added that the grade A students came from 421 schools, including 311 public schools with 1,296 students and 108 private schools with 461 students.
Hun Sen awarded the students with 2 million riel ($500) each, two educational books by Phirum Ou and Ou Chong, one iPad and a rare Khmer coin from 1514.
By province, the coveted grades were distributed as follows: Phnom Penh 565; Siem Reap 153; Kandal 127; Battambang 123; Kampong Cham 118; Banteay Meanchey 99; Takeo 99; Prey Veng 87; Kampot 75; Tbong Khmum 54; Kratie 45; Kampong Thom 41; Kampong Speu 33; Pursat 28; Svay Rieng 26; Kampong Chhnang 22; Preah Sihanouk 20; Ratanakkiri 9; Stung Treng 6; Pailin 6; Oddar Meanchey 5; Koh Kong 4; Preah Vihear 4; Kep 3; and one in Mondulkiri province.