Krousar Thmey to Be Integrated Into the Education Ministry
By | December 13, 2013

Krousar Thmey, the country’s pre-eminent NGO working to educate disabled children, is in the process of being integrated into the Education Ministry, the company’s director and government officials confirmed Thursday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the National Workshop on Inclusive Education, Herve Roqueplan, director of Krousar Thmey, which was founded to educate children in refugee camps at the Thai border in 1991, said the NGO had a clear exit strategy.

“We are working alongside the government, step by step, and we hope to hand operations over to the Ministry of Education in 2021,” Mr. Roqueplan said of the NGO, which schools more than 1,000 children with disabilities in five locations across the country.

“We use the national curriculum of the Ministry of Education and all our teachers are government-trained,” which will make for a smooth transition, he said, adding that it was time for the Cambodian government and people to take responsibility for the education of disabled children.

In a speech to mark Interna- tional Human Rights Day and International Persons With Disability Day on Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen also said that the Education Ministry must take responsibility for maintaining Krousar Thmey’s 23 years of good work.

“If not, when Krousar Thmey organization leaves, this work will be dissolved…totally,” Mr. Hun Sen said.

Chan Sophea, director of the ministry’s education Department, affirmed Mr. Hun Sen’s views Thursday and reiterated the government’s commitment to reach the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goal on primary education.

“Mr. Hun Sen promises—he is committed—to take the programs that teach disabled children to become officially part of the Ministry of Education,” he said.

“And that is all a part of achieving the target of 100 percent [of] children [in] primary education by 2015.”

Tom Coulter, a British expert in deaf education who in is Cambodia for a month to train and evaluate teachers in his field and has worked in Malawi, New Guinea, Thailand and Oman, said that bringing disabled education under the government’s purview was a positive move.

“It seems that the sector is getting great support from the new minister [Hang Chuon Naron], so it is perfect timing,” he said.

“I have seen them do it the other way in New Guinea, where the government continues to make educating disabled children solely the work of NGOs, and it is a very weak model—it does not work.”

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Mu Sochua, a lawmaker-elect for the opposition CNRP, announced Thursday that she will on Sunday morning resume her campaign to enter Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park.

There were 185 reported traffic accidents nationwide over the Khmer New Year holiday this year, resulting in 48 fatalities and 406 injuries, an increase in accidents and injuries but a nearly 30 percent decrease in deaths compared to the holiday period last year, an official said.

Most garment factories did not open for business Thursday, choosing to extend the Khmer New Year holidays—which officially ended Wednesday—rather than face industrial action in the form of a planned nationwide stay-at-home strike.

A man was chopped to death with an ax Wednesday after he confronted a group of three men who allegedly beat his 12-year-old daughter on the dance floor of a Khmer New Year party, police said Thursday.

Villagers from an ethnic minority community in Koh Kong province’s Areng Valley continued their blockade over the Khmer New Year holiday of an access road leading to the site of a proposed dam they say would destroy their way of life.

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