Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister calls for more education transparency

Minister calls for more education transparency

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron speaks at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

Minister calls for more education transparency

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron yesterday said the ministry was seeking to bring more accountability and transparency to the education sector, though stakeholders noted much remained to be done – with one pointing out the apparent lack of transparency on display when Chuon Naron declined to speak to the press.

“The education sector must be accountable to provide quality education,” Chuon Naron said, adding that education officials and stakeholders “need to solve the problem as a package”.

His comments were made during the launch of Unesco’s global education accountability report, which notes, among other things, that Cambodia does not recognise the time teachers spend on supplemental responsibilities, and limits statutory working time to hours spent in the classroom.

Chuon Naron said the ministry has made strides – including raising teachers’ salaries, securing budget increases and massively overhauling the national grade 12 exams in 2014 – adding that new reforms would not just take place in a government office, but at the level of individual schools.

“Schools can be accountable if they have enough resources and the principal is well trained,” he said, pointing to the achievement of the so-called New Generation Schools, which are similar to charter schools and are part of a ministry reform.

To make that happen, the ministry has introduced school inspections and teacher accountability is also part of its “in-depth reform”, Chuon Naron said.

Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, applauded the grade 12 test reforms, but also agreed that more needs to take place.

“There is a need for more comprehensive and structural reforms to be undertaken including strengthening of teachers’ disciplines and morals, preventing [the] practice of teachers demanding bribery [or] payment from students at primary and secondary schools,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, the ministry should “show best examples on their accountability and transparency at all levels regarding teacher recruitments and financial management”.

Anne Lemaistre, Unesco representative in Cambodia, said the ministry had made “tremendous progress” with financial reforms, which give more transparency toward specific projects, but nonetheless called out the ministry for not taking questions from the press during the event.

“It’s very important to answer in full transparency to the media,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the