In addition to prepared text, Samdech Techo Hun Sen made the following impromptu comments, unofficially selected and translated by Cambodia New Vision:
Prolong Retirement Age for Teachers
I wish to take this opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts. I wish the teachers’ day becomes a regular event. I remember that I launched this idea in 1997. I think I did two major works. Firstly, I elevated teachers’ retirement age from 55 to 60 years old. I am now sorry that we could have regulated to 65 years old then. At 65 years of age, one is in his/her full energy. Unfortunately, s/he has to go into retirement. I am calling on more thought and consideration to review within the framework of our teachers what we could do to reset teachers’ retirement age a bit longer. I did it once to change it from 55 to 60. However, it was not responding properly to our demand. The same is also true in the case of health and medical staff. However, we are dealing first with those in line of teaching duty. We have contracted retired teachers to work. It would be better if we just extend their retirement age.
I wish that HE Pich Bunthin, Minister of Public Functions, to figure out a way on this matter. It is true that prolonging retirement age would cause unhappiness among younger generation. However, I think they could understand the needs of our nation and they would benefit from it too. This contradiction had happened in France. Younger French people protested against such policy. We must take every factor and impact into consideration. We are lacking number of teachers but we are putting many into retirement and replacing them with new ones.
Well, I am just reminding you that this is an idea I launched in 1997. I am calling for a review. Prior to 1997, teachers will go into retirement when they reached 55 years of age. In 1997, we had changed that. As for me personally, I support extension of retirement age for teachers because that would be responding to our social needs. We recruit thousands of teachers every year and they are not enough. Teachers who retired had to work as contracted teachers. I think it is high time to rectify that and to extend the retirement age. I think we can do this and the National Assembly will indeed support the draft law.
Teachers’ Day – Should Be National Movement
Secondly, what I did also in 1997 was to set a motion for teachers’ day and/or in gratitude to teachers or mentors. It is now 20 years. That has brought me to this meeting I had with former President of Teachers Association, the late senior citizen Neth Yang. He wrote a nice poem. I fell very impressed […] I really wish the teachers day and/or gratitude to teachers/mentors to become a national movement that lives forever and ever in every students’ heart and mind. It will not be for the students of this generation but for the generations to come. We must be in gratitude of our teachers/mentors who guided us through.
Talking about this I am so proud of my children since they always have their gratitude for their teachers. If every student could do the same, I am sure our teachers would not feel lonely and be encouraged instead. I think it must become a national movement to bestow gratitude to teachers.
I have seen the other day students of Beoung Trabek Secondary School gathered to organize their gratitude day for teachers/mentors. If students of other schools were to do the same, I think we should set for 5 October as a day to celebrate our gratitude to teachers/mentors. I think there are many students in many schools who could set this example in motion. We then will not organize day of gratitude to teachers in separate location but in the whole country […] when our students are of such consciences, I think we will uplift our social morale through actions taken by younger generations […]
Supporting Education’s Policy of Professional Path of Teachers
I wish to take this moment to ascertain my support to the proposed policy of professional path for teachers requested by Education Minister HE Hang Chuon Naron. This policy aims to keep good teachers, school directors, and researchers working in the system of education for as long as their talents could be. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am giving the support completely. We need a good mold to make good students. There were cases that some blamed teachers for their children’s failures. It is not just. As they failed the exams, they should review their studying methods. When their children do well, the same kind of people would give their family rewarding words […]
Teachers and Physicians Have High Salaries
However, I think that our social environment improves and we have done better as far as helping resolve problems in the framework of teachers. As you can see now teachers and medical staff are the ones that receive high salaries. I hope those in other careers and armed forces will not be jealous […] we will make further efforts. I told workers recently that their salaries would be no less than one million Riel by 2018. This will lead to bigger expenses and we need to have bigger income as well. Our expense on staff exceeds 50% now, or about 6% of our GDP. According to macroeconomics, we should top it at 40%. However, this expense has led to improvement of living condition of our civil servants and armed forces, and teachers […]
Education Infrastructures Needs
As I traveled to provinces lately, I decided to pour in some 150 million USD into education infrastructure. That has not yet included teachers and students’ hostels. However, situation requires more. I noticed that schools that I built previously have required replacement, especially in formerly integrated areas between 1996-97, where transporting construction materials were next to impossible. We need to dismantle them and rebuild new ones. We are building many floors building too […]
Conditions for working and living for our teachers have also improved. We have done works that strengthen regional educational pedagogy […] and along with building schools, we need to fix this need of hostels for students and teachers. In my last trip to Stoeng Treng, I provided one more school building for the Regional Pedagogical School at Stoeng Treng, where students will come from not only Stoeng Treng but also Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri, plus hostels for teachers and students […]./.