A ministry of National Defence official confirmed on Tuesday that the study of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s landmark Win-Win Policy has been included into military education programmes, and he anticipates it will soon also be added to the national education curriculum.
“We have included it into the soldier’s curriculum already, while for the civil education sector of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, I believe that the ministry will include the study of the Win-Win Policy at higher or secondary education level,” Nem Sowath, who is the ministry’s General Department of Policy & Foreign Affairs director-general, told The Post on Tuesday.
Explaining the addition of the Win-Win Policy into the curriculum, Sowath – who also headed the team charged with constructing the newly completed Win-Win Monument – said via his official Facebook page that it held a deeper meaning than just aggrandising the prime minister.
“It does not only represent the history of Samdech [Hun Sen], the construction of this monument will also fill a historical gap and give a further understanding about that time in Cambodian history."
“It is a significant event and it should have been included in the curriculum a long time ago,” Sowath said.
He said the General Command and Training Division of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and the University of Defence have already instigated a curriculum for soldiers that features the study of the Win-Win Policy, while an inclusion into the national curriculum was on the horizon.
The Win-Win Policy was an initiative pursued by Hun Sen in the late-1990s, allowing Khmer Rouge holdouts to keep their military positions in exchange for defecting to government forces, ending decades of civil war.
The prime minister’s official Facebook page on Tuesday hailed the completion of the new Win-Win Monument, which will be inaugurated with a three-day ceremony chaired by Hun Sen starting on Saturday – the 20th anniversary of the policy.
“The Win-Win Monument is representative of national unification, independence, solidarity, territorial integrity and the prosperity of Cambodia.
“The monument proves that Cambodia is united and can escape from war, genocide, territorial division, poverty and foreign incitement.
“At the moment, Cambodia is leading its destiny toward the prosperity and peace,” the message read.
The construction of the Win-Win Monument began in February 2016 on 8ha in Chroy Changvar district’s Prek Ta Sek commune in Phnom Penh.
Ministry of Education spokesman Ros Soveacha said national curriculum reforms occur every five years, with an upcoming shake-up scheduled to decide a new curriculum for the 2019-2023 period.
He said the Win-Win Policy will be up for discussion as a potential addition to the next curriculum, and the involved parties would hold bilateral discussions with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on its inclusion.
“For the Win-Win Policy topic, it might be added to the curriculum. The inclusion of additional topics in the curriculum needs the participation of teachers and has to be done through a study and a trial.
“But we see the potential for the study of historical places such as the Win-Win Monument, which holds a deep meaning in Cambodian history, in strengthening the soft and hard skills of our students,” he said.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey warned against the education sector becoming too focused on the achievements of one political party.
“We welcome next generation gaining knowledge for human development. Therefore, anything that contributes to human development is a good thing. But the education sector is an independent institution, and we shouldn’t involve politics in it,” he said.