Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Schools seek gov’t meeting to find ways for reopening

Schools seek gov’t meeting to find ways for reopening

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Heng Vanda (centre), head of the Cambodian Higher Education Association, during the virtual meeting on June 15. Cambodia Chamber of Commerce

Schools seek gov’t meeting to find ways for reopening

More than 100 private educational institutions have decided to request a meeting with the government to find ways to reopen schools as many of them are facing bankruptcy and on the brink of closing. The decision came during a virtual meeting among them on June 15.

Vanda Institute director Heng Vanda, who is also chairman of the Cambodian Higher Education Association, told The Post after the meeting that Covid-19 has been around since early 2020 and has severely affected schools for more than a year.

“The meeting to request the government’s help is to ensure that private education institutions can survive. They can no longer endure and decide to appeal for the reopening of schools because we do not know when the Covid-19 pandemic will end,” he said.

Vanda said Covid-19 infections are currently spread as a cluster which could be managed by authorities. Relying on online learning does not improve the situation because parents or guardians do not pay school fees and young students cannot study online. Without tuition fees, schools will go bankrupt or shut down.

Reopening schools will depend on following preventative health measures and guidelines from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Some students will study in class while others online (Online Plus) to reduce the number of students in the classroom, he said.

“We will collect the results of this meeting and write a letter requesting to meet with relevant ministries to express our problems and concerns,” he said.

Pech Bolen, president of the Federation of Education Services in Cambodia who also attended the meeting, said most private education institutions have asked the education ministry to consider reopening schools and discuss measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in schools.

“What we want the most is to reopen schools, if possible, in August or September, but we also need to discuss any acceptable mechanisms, such as continuing education in class and online study at home, and follow the guidelines of the education and health ministries,” he said.

He said the other reason for the request is that Phnom Penh residents are nearly fully vaccinated against Covid-19, including teachers.

Education ministry spokesman Ros Sovacha said on June 16 that the ministry encourages private education institutions and stakeholders to talk and find solutions as everyone is affected by the crisis.

He added that schools, both private and public, will remain closed until further notice.

“Public and private institutions need to continue teaching and learning online according to the new normal of the education sector,” he said, adding that the ministry has already issued guidelines on distance and electronic teaching and learning for public, primary and secondary schools for the 2020-2021 academic year.


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro