The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has instructed secondary education institutions and the capital-provincial education departments to accelerate the selection process for the national outstanding student examinations, scheduled for June.

According to instructions issued, each department is in charge of selecting candidates to represent the capital or province in three subjects: Khmer literature, mathematics and physics.

“A limited number of students from grades 9 and 12 should be selected for provincial competitions in each subject,” it said.

The departments will allocate a number of places to each public and private school according to their enrollment and educational achievements.

“Private education institutions with less than 100 students must select at least one student per grade level. They will pay 40,000 riel [$100] to the education department for facilitating the exam process,” added the ministry.

The final outstanding student exams will take place at Net Yang High School in Battambang province on June 12.

Cheng Limhorn, head of the Preah Vihear provincial education department, said he has instructed each district to select outstanding students, with the provincial representatives due to be selected by April.

Chhort Bunthong, head of the Culture, Education and Tourist Relations department at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the annual competition provided motivation to many students, and therefore was a driving force in advancing the Kingdom’s human resource capacity.

“To qualify as outstanding, students are required to conduct their own research and explore concepts that are beyond what their textbooks contain,” he said.

“In the future, it may be necessary to add new subjects, whether STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] or social sciences, to the outstanding exams to match global education development,” he mused.