By Soy Sophea
The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed to all relevant sides to take action to improve education and recognize the dignity of teachers, during a speech to celebrate Teacher’s Day October 6.
The prime minister’s remarks were made in a statement dated October 1, 2008 to welcome the new study year 2008-2009. The Prime Minister stated, “To show the importance of the day, all schools and education intuitions need to join hands with parents and students to mark the day. Furthermore, students need to be made aware of the importance of Cambodian culture, mutual respect and understanding. They should also remember the work their teachers have done on their behalf and be grateful to them.”
He continued, “I call on education officials, teachers, all levels of authority, monks and national and international agencies, donor countries, the private sector and charitable concerns to keep supporting and developing the education sector.”
Teacher’s Day is an initiative of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, who introduced the celebrations back in 1997 to recognize the work that teachers do. Indeed, many students consider them to be their second mother and father. Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he wanted to see Teacher’s Day becoming a firm tradition in the country.
Hem Saly, director of Boeung Trabek High School, told the Cambodia Weekly on October 10 that he appreciated Teacher’s Day as it drew attention to teachers who devoted their time and skill to educate children.
“We [teachers] try our best to educate and advise students to study hard and work hard,” he said. “What we want is to see our students becoming good citizens able to make positive contributions to society.”
Sam Sementa, director of Kampong Speu’s Education, Youth and Sports Provincial Department, told the Cambodia Weekly that his department marked Teachers Day by conducting a welfare ceremony for nearly 100 retired teachers who had spent a lifetime in the education sector.