Folks have expressed concerns about the lack of French-language teachers in the Cambodia's public high schools
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 02:07:08 -0800 (PST)
French main casualty as high schools face teacher shortfalls
Written by Chhay Channyda
Monday, 08 December 2008
French teachers brought out of retirement to address shortfalls in the
number graduating from city's teacher training academies
EDUCATION officials have expressed concerns about the lack of French-
language teachers in the Kingdom's public high schools, which they say
could lead to a decline in the language's popularity among students at
a time when English-language use is becoming more widespread.
"Students in French classes also take English, which they find is more
important for their future careers," said Sok Sovanna, director of Bak
Tuk high school in Phnom Penh, who said 164 seventh to 12th grade
French classes had been closed at the school since 2001.
"The school does not intend to close French classes and we still can
teach French by asking retired teachers to help us, but students don't
really like French."
Sok Sovanna added that the lack of French teachers trained by the
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport had also prompted the school
to shut down its French classes and that the lack of English teachers
was also an obstacle for the school, which has been forced to cut
English classes from four hours to
two or three hours per week.
"Only 10 English teachers are provided to give lectures to the 8,000
students at our school," he said. "We need more teachers."
Preah Sihanoukville High School in Sihanoukville is also facing
similar shortages, with high school deputy director Khov Vuthy saying
that retired French teachers were coming in to help pick up the
"We have opened one class for each grade, but French is not as popular
to study as English," he said. He added that French was still
important for students who were keen to pursue tertiary studies in
medicine or law.
He said also that those who study French have more opportunities to be
outstanding students than those who studied in English.
"We also teach biology, maths and physics in French, and the students
are much more knowledgeable and qualified," he said.
Chum Cheng, bureau chief of training and pedagogy at the Education
Ministry, said the number of French students who trained to become
high school French teachers was limited each year.
"Only 50 to 60 French teachers have graduated each year, which the
ministry has to provide to all the country's provinces," he said,
adding that English teachers - 200 of whom graduate per year - could
be trained at centres in five provinces, while French students had to
travel to Phnom Penh.
"We can provide only two or three French teachers to each province,"
he said. "We cannot fulfill the requirements of every school."
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