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

  • Government set to slash holidays

    The private sector has welcomed the government’s move to reduce the number of public holidays in the in the Kingdom – known for having the most public holidays in the world – by seven days. However, the government had just added the “Day of Remembrance” on

  • Kith Theang being held in PJ prison

    Kith Theang, the brother of prominent businessman Kith Meng, was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late on Monday and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare (PJ) prison over the nearly 50kg of drugs found in a February 23 raid by authorities on the Rock

  • Farmers told not to plant next rice crop

    THE Ministry of Environment has told Cambodian rice farmers to refrain from planting crops in the midst of a drought heightened by record temperatures due to this year’s El Nino phenomenon. Temperatures are expected to peak in April and May. “Every year, [farmers usually]

  • Phay Siphan: Preah Sihanouk will become a second Singapore

    Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Monday that Preah Sihanouk province will become a second Singapore, as authorities were warned that its development, fuelled largely by Chinese investment, was coming at a cost to locals. Siphan was speaking at a press conference after a seminar