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Government asked to intervene over school’s declining student body

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Mai Vireak

The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association has sent a letter to the Ministry of Education to intervene and find solution for a secondary school in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district that only has one Grade 7 student.

According to the letter sent on Thursday, CITA suggested that the ministry intervene after it found that Kla Krohem Secondary School in Tram Kak district’s Ta Phem commune had only one student in Grade 7 this academic year.

In addition to the lone student, CITA president Ouk Chhayavy said that for the 2018 academic year, teachers at the school worked overtime without pay and there was no teacher for English class.

“When there is only one student in class, I think the student and teacher have no desire to study. They are depressed to continue studying and teaching,” she said. “And many teachers are needed to teach several subjects to this one student. We suggest the ministry take action to find a solution.”

Ms Chhayavy added that Kla Krohem Secondary School was created in 2002. It had at least 100 students the first year, but the number of students has fallen from one year to the next, she added.

She said that this year, there were about 40 students in Grade 9, 30 students in Grade 8 and only the one in Grade 7.

She said that in the beginning of this academic year, which began in November, there were six students enrolled in Grade 7.

Nget Neang, an education official at Kla Krohem Secondary School, said some Grade 7 students had transferred to schools closer to their homes.

“There is only one student studying in Grade 7 because five other students changed to another school nearby their homes,” he said.

According to an Education Ministry report, the gross enrolment rate in lower secondary education increased from 53.8 percent in the 2015-2016 academic year to 55.7 percent in the 2016-2017 academic year, while the dropout rate declined from 19.2 percent to 17.5 percent over the same period.

Education Ministry spokesman Ros Salin could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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