Study of Education During the Republic of Kampuchea

Having gained independency from France in 1953, Cambodia started construct its nation-state through paying attending to developing and implementing the educational field. New schools were built in both towns and rural countries. Higher establishments which the French had ignored to supply during its settlement were made into exist in the capital and a few chief provincial metropoliss. However, the most singular educational advancement wholly disappeared during the 1970s, particularly at the 2nd half of 1970s ( International Educational Journal Vol.5, N0 1, 2004, p.90 ) . After the prostration of Khmer Rough control and under the strong support from Vietnam and other socialist states in 1979, the People ‘s Republic of Kampuchea ( PRK ) led by Heng Samrin started to reconstruct the state from immense desolation of twelvemonth nothing ( Scholarly Journal by Gene V Glass, volume 11, 2003 ) . The freshly liberated government ‘s top precedence between 1979 and 1981 was to reconstruct instruction establishments. Its policy on heightening instruction was in the interview with a senior instruction functionary who had been involved in basic instruction and instructor preparation since 1979:

“ 1979-1981 was a period of restructuring and rehabilitating both substructure and human resources. The restructuring and rehabilitation I refer was roll uping school- age kids and seting them in school despite the hapless status of the school and even carry oning categories in the unfastened air or under the trees. We appealed to all those instructors and literate people who survived to learn nonreaders. There were no licences or any high demands for keeping a teaching occupation. We merely tried to open school and literary categories ; we did n’t care about quality ” ( Scholarly Journal by Gene V Glass, volume 11, 2003, pp 6-7 ) .

The instruction system used by the government was 4 + 3 + 3, which means pupils had to pass four old ages at primary school, three old ages at lower secondary and another three old ages at upper secondary 1. The system was implemented in answer to emergent demands for human resources for state rehabilitation. The chief aim of the system of instruction was to organize new and good hard-working citizens with a luggage of civilization, of proficient consciousness, of a capacity for work, of good wellness and of a radical morality ready to function Kampuchea revolution with efforts to construct a socialist province through the development of instruction. ” ( Ayres, 2003, pp.137-139 )

The first school twelvemonth began on September 24, 1979, which was announced by Heng Samrin, the PRK president seting every incrimination on the about four-year Khmer Rough government led by Pol Pot ( Ayres, p. 126 ) . What really obstructed the quality of instruction, particularly at primary and high school degrees during the PRK from 1979 to 1989?

To understand that, the undermentioned factors should be raised and considered.

Initially, there was a bad deficit of good and qualified instruction staff for the state ‘s schools. The PRK claimed in 1984 that 75 per cent of instructors were murdered by the Khmer Rough ( Ayres, p.126 ) . “ The state had merely 13,619 instructors, at a ratio of 1 instructor for every 53 pupils. Merely 4,000 had formal makings. In add-on to their deficiency of experiences and makings, instructors had other concerns like traveling about the state looking for losing relations they had lost under the Khmer Rough, believing about their parents who had died, hapless physical wellness, psychological injury, hapless memory and concentration, so the instruction force was certainly really weak. ( Ayres, 2003, pp132-133 ) . To promote school engagement, the authorities used the mottos like those who know more Teachs those who know less and another 1 was traveling to learn and traveling to school is nation-loving. Peoples with any degree of instruction who survived from the killing government was asked and encouraged to go instructors, professors, and administrative officials in the educational field. Potential instructors were given short- term preparation for one month, three hebdomads, or even two hebdomads and so started learning. ( Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, 1998 ) .

Second, there was a monolithic registration of pupils at primary and secondary schools. For illustration, by November 1979, 716,553 pupils had officially enrolled in primary schools throughout Cambodia, which was impossible for the government to deviate resources to preparation and retraining of school instructors, doing schoolroom instructions at low criterion ( Ayres, p.132 ; p.138 )

Third, there was a deficiency of qualified instruction leader and direction staff at the ministry. One former functionary said, “ because we did non cognize where to we should get down. We were lost ” ( Ayres, p.129 ) . Chan Ven, the new curate of instruction, who had been a high school natural philosophies instructor, said that he and his qualified Kampuchean co-workers did non hold any thoughts and had no sense of where to get down and make. The most attending they paid to was to set the pupils in schools every bit rapidly as possible so that they could construct Kampuchea into a state of new socialist workingmans, and when asked about the enlistings and preparation of instructors, the quality of instruction and what would be taught, he replied that it was beyond the capacity of Cambodia ministry of instruction. They surely needed the aid of Vietnamese experts ( Ayres, p. 128 ) .

The 4th point was the hapless status of educational infrastructure. “ With every bit much as 90 % of the school edifices destroyed in Cambodia ” ( Ledgerwood, J. ( N.d ) . Education in Cambodia. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

Some schools had no Windowss, deficient furniture, so the pupils had to sit and analyze on the floor. The figure of school edifices and schoolrooms did non fit the big figure of the pupils ‘ registration. There were excessively many pupils that some of them had to take categories in the unfastened air under the trees, in antecedently used infirmaries, or at countries surrounded by mines and cemeteries ( Ayres, p. 133 ) .

The following factor was the learning capacity of the state ‘s pupils. Many pupils were enduring from malnutrition or diseases, particularly malaria, that they had got from old old ages, and like their instructors, they had other concerns about looking for their surviving relations, believing about their parents who had passed off, their basic shelters, necessary nutrient, apparels, etc. , which could impact their learning memory and concentration

( Ayres, p. 135 ) . “ In primary school about 30 per cent of the kids had no male parent, 10 per cent had no female parent, and between 5 and 10 per cent were orphans ” ( Postlethwaite, 1988 ) .

In add-on to the five facets mentioned earlier, larning and learning stuffs were in a bad deficit. Although some stuffs used in old governments were non wholly destroyed by the DK, those stuffs could non be used as the government used new text editions so as to accomplish their purpose. Some instructors used clay as a pen to compose on the board. Seven or eight pupils shared one book and a stub of pencil. By 1980, the Centre for Program Writing and Textbooks had produced 39 texts for the usage in primary schools, several for secondary schools, and a individual text for usage in grownup literacy instruction classs ( Ayres, pp, 129 ; 133 ) .

Next, although the PRK held the power of the state, the government was non internationally recognized. As a consequence, the Kampuchean place at the United Nation phase was non given to the PRK, but to the authorities of the DK because the international community was non certain whether Vietnam had liberated or invaded Cambodia, which caused a hold in supplying the human-centered aid to the PRK, and the assistance trade stoppage that was to follow it, both impact the PRK government ‘s capacity to rehabilitate Cambodia and devastated Kampuchean people ( Ayres, pp. 126 ; 136 )

What is more is that the government chiefly aimed to construct a socialist province with socialist workingmans through the development of instruction. So, it focused more on higher instruction and grownup literacy instruction than the lower degrees ( Ayres, pp. 137-138 )

Besides, contending between the PRK and DK and its confederation still continued at Cambodian-Thai boundary line, so immature work forces were needed for national defense mechanism ( Ayres, p. 125 ) .

Last, the course of study was non from the ministry of instruction, but by lasting instructors severally. The first schools opened were non province schools but private 1s. The lessons largely focused on literacy, and instructors taught from their memory as what Suon Serey, a instructor who opened her ain school, said.

To sum up, the summarized factors mentioned above indicate intelligibly why the quality of instruction during the PRK was so hapless.


All things seen and considered, the cause of hapless quality of instruction at primary and secondary degrees during the PRK was chiefly resulted severely from the Khmer Rough government, and partially from the presence of Vietnamese soldiers in Cambodia during that period.