Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron gave a speech on the history of education reform in Cambodia at the Royal University of Phnom Penh yesterday morning, a speech that was followed a few hours later by the ministry announcing he had written a book on that very subject.
Chuon Naron spoke about the history of education, offering specific focus on reforms that began on his watch, including the 2014 overhaul of the national Grade-12 exam, which cracked down on widespread cheating.
Such reform is starting to show results, with 62 percent of students passing the exam this year, up from just 25.7 percent in 2014. Increases in teachers’ salary, improved teacher training and curriculum updates were also mentioned. “Reform is not done by a leader, but it comes from everyone,” Chuon Naron said during his speech.
A few hours later, the Ministry of Education on its Facebook page announced a new book, Education Reform in Cambodia, written by the minister.
Chuon Naron couldn’t be reached for comment and ministry spokesman Ros Salin didn’t respond to requests for comment as of press time. But the statement said the book focuses on the country’s achievements in the past decade and issues that remain to be addressed in the future.
Meanwhile, the Khmer Student Intelligent Association yesterday submitted a petition to the ministry seeking a more esoteric road to reform: meditation.
The petition calls for meditation to be made a part of the Kingdom’s school curriculum, saying it “would help people love peace, be patient” and give up being greedy and hateful.