Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith encouraged disabled students not to view physical handicaps as obstacles to education.

He said the same applied for jobs as state and private institutions have earmarked two per cent of their workforce to hire disabled people.

He made the remarks while visiting teachers and disabled students at the Kampong Cham Special Education High school (KCSEHS) in Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Cham town on Tuesday.

“All state and private institutions have earmarked two per cent of their positions for disabled people to work” he said.

Kanharith said recruitment exams for state officials are not being held this year because of Covid-19, but the government is handing out cash to the disabled in need.

He said his working group has helped the KCSEHS for 17 years. In the last four years, the group has also helped orphans with disabilities.

“We are happy to see blind, mute and deaf students study at universities and get good jobs,” he said.

The minister mentioned on Wednesday a youth named Srun who landed a job at the Battambang provincial information department.

“He is autistic but has a strong work ethic. He has carried out his work well like any able-bodied person. Life is a struggle. Those who have the will to struggle are successful ones,” Kanharith said.

KCSEHS principal Keo Phally told The Post on Thursday there are 171 students with disabilities at the school. Among the students, 59 are blind and 112 are deaf. Phally said 29 KCSEHS students are studying at colleges in Kampong Cham and Phnom Penh.

“The information minister is encouraging students with disabilities. They have to study hard to have knowledge and skills, then their lives will be successful. Prime Minister [Hun Sen] also said disabilities are not obstacles to looking for a job, but what is important is knowledge,” Phally said.

Phally said special education schools teach students with disabilities according to the curriculum of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, but also add another disability skill to students. The schools also teach music and art, and provide listening and speaking training for hearing-impaired students.