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CITA requests for schools to be re-opened to Education Ministry

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Students attend Hun Sen Svay Chek school in Siem Reap province before virus pandemic. KT/Tep Sony

The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA) has asked the Education Ministry to consider reopening educational institutions, as new cases of COVID-19 have not been detected in the country in the last three weeks.

Ouk Chhayavy, president of CITA, said yesterday the situation of COVID-19 pandemic has improved as there have been no new cases detected for the past three weeks. Hence they would like the Education Ministry to consider allowing schools of all levels to reopen in some areas so students can attend school once again.

Ms Chhayavy added some students have found it difficult to continue their studies from the ministry’s distance learning programme which is being carried out nationwide.

With parents busy trying to earn a living in these difficult times, they do not have time to assist their children learn through this platform. It has also been challenging in some areas since internet service is unavailable or limited.

“We have submitted a request to the ministry to reopen all levels of educational institutions in the capital and provinces which have no COVID-19 infections and also in areas where even though infections were detected, patients are now cured. If schools remain suspended any longer, some students might find it difficult to get back into the studying mode, while others may get influenced by their peers to go astray trying drugs or alcohol,” she said.

Education Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha responded that as of yesterday, the ministry still continues to postpone the opening of public and private schools including teacher training institutions nationwide until there is a mandate from the Ministry of Health giving the green light to do so.

He said: “Generally parents, student and all stakeholders welcome and support the ministry’s distance learning programme, especially with the broadcasting through TVK 2, which continues to provide programmes in urban and rural areas in 25 provinces.

According to a statement from Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine, as of 7am yesterday, out of a total of 122 people who contracted the virus, 120 patients have been cured, with two patients still receiving medical treatment.

According to a statement from Health Minister Mam Bun Heng at a press conference on Monday, despite no detection of any new infections within the last three weeks, the situation of the pandemic remains on high alert, as the global spread of the virus has not yet eased.

Mr Bun Heng also called on all citizens to continue maintaining good hygiene by regularly washing hands with soap, using alcohol-based hand sanitiser or gel, wearing face masks, avoiding organizing events with large gatherings. He also asked reducing any unnecessary travel from one to another place and following the proper guidance set by the Ministry of Health to prevent the pandemic from spreading virus into the community.

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