Students Finish Exams, Prepare for University

More than 100,000 12th-grade high school students around the country finished their national exams yesterday, with many immediately considering their future.

“I want to go to NUM [National University of Management] if I get high marks,” said Visal, 17, a student at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk High School, adding that the cost of tuition may force him to look at cheaper options.

Representatives from higher education institutes were on hand outside exam halls handing out fliers for their respective schools to help students make their decisions, and tout for potential customers.

There are a total of 88 higher education institutes in Cambodia, including 34 public establishments, according to Mak Nang, deputy director of the department of higher education at the Education Ministry. She said that around 40,000 students had entered post-secondary education in each of the last two years.

“In the last two years there were a lot…but I think this year, maybe more than before,” she said. Based on previous years’ results, she expected around 70 percent of the 108,433 students who sat the exams to pass.

Bun Thorn, 43, spent yesterday morning outside Chaktomuk High, waiting for his 18-year-old daughter. He said he was very proud of how hard she had worked to prepare for the exams.

“I plan to send her to study at whatever university she wants,” he said.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodia Independent Teachers Association, said that he had observed many instances of cheating and corruption during the two and a half days the exams lasted.

“We saw that the terrible situation of bribes being given [to examiners] to allow cheating during the exam is still continuing,” he said.


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