Teachers Upset By Textbooks

The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association has asked that the word “God” be removed from 12th grade social science text­­books, calling the reference a vi­o­lation of the Constitution, ac­cording to a letter sent Wednes­day to Minister of Education Tol Lah.

“The word God only signifies that the Christian religion exists,” CITA President Rong Chhun said. “So it is a violation of the Constitu­tion.”

Article 43 of the Constitution stipulates that Buddhism is the state religion. Rong Chhun said the reference to God may confuse students and encourage them to follow other religious pursuits.

“Human Character,” the first chap­ter in the textbook, teaches stu­dents about manners and good behavior. The chapter’s seventh line encourages students to “put the interests of God above all others.” Students also are advised to smile, apologize for mistakes and to think before they speak.

The book was published by the ministry, with support from the UN and the government.

“We want the ministry to wake up and pay more attention to the contents of publications,” Rong Chhun said.


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