Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Script for hill tribes




Script for hill tribes

Script for hill tribes

Dear Editor,

In the Post of August 4 Bou Saroeun reports on a written language for hill tribes

in Ratanakkiri. He starts the article, which is very informative, with the words

"for the first time". This might give the impression that only now such

a language has been introduced.

However, during my visits in 1997 and late 1998 I found teaching material in hill

tribe languages using the Khmer alphabet, including a draft for a primary school

curriculum.

This new material and alphabet was developed by a couple of missionaries. However,

it seemed at the time that the Phnom Penh Government rejected the introduction of

any minority language for use in primary schools. Instead the use of Khmer as the

teaching language was promoted.

In a report that I prepared for CIDSE on the situation of their program in Ratanakkiri

in 1999 I pointed out that the lack of primary school teaching in Ratanakkiri among

the hill tribes in great part was hampered by the insistence of the Ministry of Education

on using the Khmer language.

Another obvious limitation for the proliferation of primary school education among

the hill tribes was the reluctance of Khmer teachers to live in remote areas under

primitive conditions.

To overcome these constraints I recommended the introduction of the already existing

and tested minority languages using the Khmer alphabet in primary school education.

Another recommendation was facilitation of teacher education of more local people,

eg in Stung Treng through study grants. I am pleased to note that seemingly the Government's

reluctance to introduce local languages for teaching has been reversed.

- John Vijghen, International Experts for Community Research, Chiang Mai

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,