Teacher Group Requests Controversial Textbooks

The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association sent a letter Tues­day to the Ministry of Edu­ca­tion seeking the publication of history books for grade 12 students, which were withdrawn in 2002 because they failed to men­tion Funcinpec’s victory in the 1993 national election.

Rong Chhun, president of the as­sociation, said he has been forced to intervene because of the de­lay in re-issuing the books.

“It has taken many years to do,” Rong Chhun said on Tues­day.

Funcinpec leaders and other of­ficials demanded the book be with­drawn and complained that they only included details of the CPP’s victory in the 1998 national election.

The letter is the second the teachers’ association has sent to the Ministry of Education asking for clarification on the matter. The first letter was sent shortly af­ter the books were collected in April 2002. Grade 12 students have been without history books since.

“It is a vital issue that needs to be solved soon because we should not let our young generations study other countries’ history and stop learning their own,” Rong Chhun said.

Chea Se, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Edu­ca­tion, confirmed that the ministry re­ceived the letter Tuesday and would study the proposal.

“The book was collected after there was strong reaction from Prince [Norodom Ranariddh and other parliamentarians] because it was written without the victory of Funcinpec at the first national election in 1993,” Chea Se said.

Srouy Meth, a 12th grade student at Tuol Tumpoung High School, said textbooks do not men­tion the history of the national elections in Cambodia. “I want to know about the events at previous elections. We only know about the good leadership of government leaders,” he said.

Rong Chhun suggested that the ministry should give history examinations with marks equal to those in mathematics in order to en­courage young people to pay at­tention to the subject.



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