A group of more than 160 philosophy students from Phnom Penh universities have called on the Ministry of Education to re-insert philosophy into Cambodia’s high school curriculum, 15 years after the subject was scrapped.
The plea was made on Sunday at a forum held at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), where student Re Pheary, said the subject of “Morality and Citizenship” – which replaced the subject in 2000 – only covers a fraction of what high school students should be taught about philosophy. Pheary said the subject could help facilitate a needed improvement in morality among students.
“Nowadays, the morality of students in society is low, with truancy, students acting like gangsters and drug addiction,” he said.
Philosophy professor Kmov Savon, who once headed the RUPP’s philosophy department, said calls by UNESCO for the subject to be taught as early as kindergarten level should be heard. “This subject teaches us how to be good citizens, how to learn from famous scholars, and analyse things more deeply,” Savon said.
Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education Im Koch yesterday said he would take the plea to Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron.
“I will bring this concern to the minister to discuss, but we cannot make a decision immediately,” he said. “We must discuss it with all of the relevant institutions.”