Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron told parents not to use Chinese New Year this week as a holiday because state schools will be open as usual.
Chuon Naron was speaking at the 5th STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – fair in Phnom Penh last week.
“We have issued guidance to all schools to follow the curriculum fully. I would like to take this opportunity to instruct all parents to tell their children to go to school as normal because they will remain open."
“Previously we have seen the situation where teachers would come to teach but no students would show up. I ask parents not to take students on vacation to the provinces and ask the students to turn up for school,” he said.
Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said that for 2019, as in previous years, Chinese New Year is not included as a public holiday for government officials.
“Chinese New Year is not included as a national holiday. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has issued guidance asking schools to follow the curriculum strictly."
“The Minister of Education, Youth and Sport has urged parents to cooperate with the ministry and encourage students to go to school as normal, especially as [Chinese New Year] is not a public holiday for government officials,” he said.
Hor Sokhak, literacy director at Room to Read Cambodia, said state schools did not close during Chinese New Year but the festivities could still affect their running.
“Sometimes teachers came to school but the students did not show up. Sometimes students came in but the teacher did not. The school did not run smoothly and it was not an official holiday,” he said.
Chan Nary, a teacher at Banteay Meanchey province’s O’Prasat Primary School, told The Post on Sunday that neither students nor teachers would be taking days off over Chinese New Year.
“At our school, students will come in as normal, as will the teachers. We are Cambodian, not Chinese. During Chinese New Year, we will all come to school. I have 35 students who will come as normal,” she said.
Some private educational institutions, particularly in Phnom Penh, take four days off over Chinese New Year, which this year will be from Monday to Thursday.