The Council of Ministers has approved a draft royal decree to create the Supreme National Council for Education to control and examine the quality of the education system in Cambodia, officials said.
The council will consist of members from several ministries who will create and implement an education policy that includes a long-term plan to educate the youngest generation of Cambodians through university, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said.
Ministry of Education Secretary of State Mak Vann said the education law gives the government the right to create the Supreme National Council for Education.
“The Supreme National Council for Education members will plan and design what the [youngest] Cambodia generation need concerning education, and this organization will be separate from the Education Ministry,” he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen will serve as chairman of the new council, according to a copy of the draft decree, with Minister of Education Im Sethy as the permanent vice-chairman.
“The Council of Higher Education has its own budget, and their own human resources and will have oversight of public and private universities,” Phay Siphan said.
SRP President Sam Rainsy said the proposed 14-member council is merely another level of bureaucracy designed in part to create jobs. “I don’t understand why [the Council of Ministers] has to create so many bodies,” he said. “Why duplicate governments with overlapping responsibilities?”
Cambodian Independent Teacher Association President Rong Chhun said there is no need for the Supreme National Council for Education because the Ministry of Education exists to carry out the same duties.
But Phay Siphan said there will be no overlap between the supreme council and the Ministry of Education.
To be put into effect, the royal decree still needs to be signed by King Norodom Sihamoni, who is in Beijing until Feb 25.
“The two are completely separate,” he said, adding that the council’s purpose will be coordinate between ministries in developing policy.