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City Hall prohibits planned teacher march

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
CITA president Ouk Chhayavy and former president Rong Chhun. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Phnom Penh City Hall has forbidden the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association to march on World Teachers’ Day next week, only allowing participants to gather at Freedom Park and send representatives to file a petition of their demands to the government.

Deputy Governor Mean Chanyada yesterday said that City Hall officials have met with CITA representatives to discuss about celebrations for World Teachers’ Day that will fall on October 5.

“ City Hall has agreed to allow CITA to celebrate Teachers’ Day at Freedom Park from 8am until 11am,” Mr Chanyada said.

He said that City Hall will not allow participants to march as they planned, but has asked CITA to select between eight to 10 representatives to bring their petition to submit to the Ministry of Education and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet.

“Their representatives can take two mini buses to travel to the institutions where they want to file their petitions and they are not allowed to gather in front of each institution,” Mr Chanyada said. “The City Hall administration will facilitate [the process] with the two institutions to accept their petitions on that day.”

He added that there should be no participation from politicians who have been banned by the Supreme Court.

“In the case that the association abuses this agreement, the representative of the association will be responsible before the law,” Mr Chanyada said.

Long Rim, a CITA representative, yesterday said that on October 5, the association will gather between 150 and 200 participants at Freedom Park from morning until noon.

“For this year’s Teachers’ Day, we have chosen a theme of ‘Improving Teachers’ Rights,’” he said. “We had planned to march from Freedom Park to the Education Ministry and Cabinet of Prime Minister Hun Sen to file our petitions to them and for them to respond to our demands.”

He added that the demands include providing materials for experiments at schools, providing computers, and lesson books for teachers and students in all year levels.

“We demand the government to provide more bonuses to teachers during big public holidays such as Pchum Ben and Khmer New Year,” Mr Rim said. “We want the government to provide a bonus of about $37.50 to all teachers.”

He added that the association is also demanding an increase in salary for teachers.

“We agreed not to march on the day, even though we really wanted to march in front of the Education Ministry and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet, but we will have our representatives file the petition,” Mr Rim said, noting that he expects that more teachers will participate on the day.

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