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Khmer Language Teaching Is Included in a Thai Government Approved Curriculum

By: The Mirror, editor: Norbert Klein Posted: September-06-2009 in
The Mirror, editor: Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 628 - Saturday, 5.9.2009

“Though there have been some hostilities regarding border disputes, the Thai government has included Khmer language teaching into the state curriculum at many schools, following a request by the Khmer Language and Culture Association of Surin Province (LCASP).

“According to information received, the provincial Department of Education of the Province of Surin of Thailand has recently agreed to include Khmer language teaching into the curriculum at schools under the control of the Royal Government of Thailand, but the information does not specify at which levels Khmer language will be included.

“Based on that source, the agreement to include Khmer language into the curriculum was announced on 5 August 2009 in a press conference, where representatives of 30 to 40 primary and secondary schools from different districts of the province discussed the program to teach the Khmer language.

“According to that source, based on the official plan, Khmer language teaching at some state schools will be taught in two sessions per week, from primary school to secondary school, starting from Grade 1 to Grade 12, and this program will start beginning in the Svay District of Surin.

“Regarding the inclusion of Khmer language teaching into the curriculum, approved by the Thai government, a secretary of state of the [Cambodian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Koy Kuong, said on 4 September 2009 that he did not know about this, while the secretaries of states of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Chea Oueng and Mr. Chey Chab, could not be reached for comment, because they were busy in meetings.

“The vice-president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia [and professor of history], Dr. Ruos Chantraboth, said that the inclusion of Khmer language teaching by Thai government agencies into a state approved curriculum is good, if it is applied from primary to secondary education, because if they apply it only at universities, it is nothing new, as there have been Khmer language programs [at universities] since long ago. That is why some scholars in Thailand can use the Khmer language.

“He added that in Surin, there is an association of Mr. Chey Mongkol [who calls himself with his Thai name Chaimongkol Chalermsukjitsri on his own website], who is trying to teach the Khmer language to Khmer people there.

“Mr. Ruos Chantraboth talked about the history related to Thailand and Cambodia, saying that he did not remember the time when some provinces of Cambodia fell under the control of Thailand, but he said that there were many provinces that had been controlled by Thailand [see Historical Note on Cambodian-Thai relations in The Mirror of 20.8.2009].

“Mr. Ruos Chantraboth went on to say that the inclusion of Khmer language teaching into a state approved curriculum might be their politics to persuade Khmer people there to set themselves apart from the central Khmers [that is: from Cambodia], because if the [Thai] government would restrict its citizens, they might stand up to protest. Thus, this curriculum might show some Thai intentions; the inclusion of the Khmer language in a curriculum is not because they appreciate that Khmer is beautiful or friendly, or they want to strengthen the ties between both countries, but it is just a strategy.

“It should be noted that the Khmer Language and Culture Association of Surin Province, created by Mr. Chey Mongkol, aims to teach Khmer children there to know their own language.

“In the meantime, he had made efforts to expand his teaching and had requested the Thai government to include Khmer language teaching into the curriculum of the state, and now a source said that the Department of Education of Thailand has already agreed with this request.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2041, 5.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 5 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #281, 5.9.2009

  • The Prime Minister Announced to Provide Concession Land for Retiring Soldiers [for living on it and to doing farming]
  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [in southern Vietnam] Welcome the Visit of the Minister of Information to Organize Pchum Ben Commemorations There
  • America Grants US$34.8 Million for Health and Education Projects in Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2041, 5.9.2009

  • Khmer Language Teaching Is Included in a Thai Government Approved Curriculum
  • In Soklyda’s Family Sent a Letter to Ask Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Help to Seek Justice for Them [over an acid attack related to former Military Police brigadier general Ms. Chea Ratha and her accomplices]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Orders the Ministry of Economy and Finance to Prepare Funding Sources for Retiring Soldiers
  • An Anti-Domestic Violence Organization Is Expanding Its Information Campaign [against domestic violence] through the Media

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #484, 5.9.2009

  • Khmer and Foreign Architects Regret that Buildings from French Colonial Times Were Sold and Destroyed by the Current Regime
  • [The opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy Called the View, Expressed by an Australian House of Representatives Member, as Not Understanding the Downturn of Democracy in Cambodia [Dr. Brendan Nelson said during a recent visit to Cambodia, where he led a two days seminar at the National Assembly on effective parliamentary oversight techniques over the government, that democracy in Cambodia is heading towards improvement - see his Australian House of Representatives, and his personal web sites]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6747, 5-6.9.2009

  • The US Embassy Donates Military Material Worth Millions of Dollar [about US$6.5 million, including different second-hand items like 16,000 military hardhats, 4,000 bags, 6,000 bullet-proof vests, and other materials]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4991, 5.9.2009

  • More Khmer Women Dare to File Complaints for Divorce [because their husbands commit domestic violence, have extra-marital relations, disregard responsibility for family finances, gamble, or drink. – According to the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), at this organization women recorded to have filed 238 divorce requests in 2007, 302 in 2008, and 123 in the first six months of 2009]
  • The Apsara Authority Found and Excavated the First Ancient Iron Stove in Cambodia [Chi Kraeng District, Siem Reap]
  • The Air France Magazine Introduces Eco-Tourism in Koh Kong to the World

Have a look at the last editorial - you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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