Teach­ers’ Day pe­ti­tion de­nied

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Niem Ch­heng

THE Ph­nom Penh City Hall has al­lowed the Cam­bo­dian In­de­pen­dent Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (Cita) to use the new Free­dom Park a long t he river­side to cel­e­brate t he up­com­ing World Teach­ers Day on Oc­to­ber 5.

In so do­ing, it has re­jected Cita’s ini­tial re­quest to use the old Free­dom Park near Wat Ph­nom and re­stricted the event to go on from 8-9am, as stated in twopage meet­ing note ob­tained by The Post yes­ter­day.

Cita had planned to march with hun­dreds of teach­ers from across the King­dom un­der the slo­gan The right to re­ceive a good ed­u­ca­tion from qual­ity teach­ers and to sub­mit a pe­ti­tion to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Youth and Sport, as well as Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen.

In its pe­ti­tion, the teach­ers’ union also de­mands that the gov­ern­ment in­crease salaries to at least 2,000,000 riel ($490) per month, cre­ate a cor­rup­tion preven­tion mech­a­nism at ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, add learn­ing ma­te­ri­als in schools, and pro­vide an ad­di­tional 150,000 riel as bonus for the teach­ers dur­ing Pchum Ben and Kh­mer New Year.

The de­mands have all been re­solved by the min­istry, ac­cord­ing to its of­fi­cial who at­tended the meet­ing.

Demon­stra­tion Law

City Hall re­jected Cita’s re­quest to march, cit­ing the King­dom’s Demon­stra­tion Law which for­bids any pub­lic assem­bly of over 200 par­tic­i­pants. It said it would de­ploy armed forces per­son­nel at the old Free­dom Park to block any gath­er­ing.

“The Daun Penh district ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Ph­nom Penh mu­nic­i­pal po­lice and mil­i­tar y po­lice will be ready to pre­vent any gat her­ing at t he park,” t he note said.

It con­cluded that: “The re­quester must en­sure it will not carry out any event that is in­tended to at­tack the King, gov­ern­ment, neigh­bour­ing coun­tries or the elites.”

Speak­ing to The Post yes­ter­day, Cita pres­i­dent Uk Ch­hayavy said she was dis­ap­pointed with City Hall’s de­ci­sion, not­ing that it cel­e­brates World Teach­ers Day ev­ery year.

“City Hall ba­si­cally said if we fol­low their con­di­tions, we would be pro­vided with se­cu­rity. But if we dis­obey, Cita would have prob­lems.This is as if it has threat­ened the teach­ers and stu­dents that will join us,” she said.

In a sep­a­rate meet­ing, t he min­is­ter, Hang Chuon Naron, said on Tues­day that the gov­ern­ment would a lso cel­e­brate World Teach­ers’ Day at the Na­tiona l In­sti­tute of Ed­u­ca­tion.

It will be presided by Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen.

“At the event, 10 teach­ers will re­ceive awards. So will the prin­ci­pals of high schools with more stu­dents get­ting A’s in the na­tional ex­am­i­na­tions,” he said.

Un­esco on Tues­day also is­sued a press re­lease, say­ing it will cel­e­brate World Teach­ers’ Day with the gov­ern­ment.

Some 1,300 par­tic­i­pants from the rel­e­vant min­istries, de­vel­op­ment part­ners, NGOs, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and teach­ers are ex­pected to at­tend the event.

PHA LINA

A teacher con­ducts learn­ing ex­er­cises dur­ing a class at Wat Koh High School in Ph­nom Penh in 2014.

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