Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Official Letter of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association to Welcome the World Teacher’s Day

Posted on 7 October 2008
The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 581

“Welcoming the World Teacher’s Day on 5 October 2008, the Cambodian Independent Teacher’s Association (CITA), with Mr. Rong Chhun as president, issued the following official letter :

“The Cambodian Independent Teacher’s Association and all our members would like to welcome the World Teacher’s Day, which is held by [Education International, the major of several] international associations of teachers, for the implementation of their role to educate and to show ways to children, youth, and teenagers, who, in the course of their lives, go through studies.

“UNESCO [had convened a Special Intergovernmental Conference on the Status of Teachers which] adopted on 5 October 1966 a Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers [or as a 14 pages PDF file here: http://www.unesco.org/education/pdf/TEACHE_E.PDF ], supported also by ILO which called for the encouragement from national and international levels, and was recognized by many governments as an important basis which needs improvement for the teachers and for the stability of strong public education systems.

“The Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers of 5 October 1966, which was the day to celebrate the World Teacher’s Day [actually, World Teachers’ Day, to be celebrated on 5 October, was inaugurated by UNESCO only in 1993], were signed by many governments of states who were members [of the United Nations], and 5 October of every year is designated as a day to celebrate the World Teacher’s Day.

“The problems teachers face every day is that there are classes in Cambodia and round the world, where many teachers try hard to find the necessary space for teaching, especially teachers in Cambodia face this problem. And though they have difficult living conditions, they still teach, because they intend to transfer knowledge to children from one generation to the next, with affection and with the intention to help them to become experts who can help to improve the living conditions and the general livelihood… Teachers are the providers of ideas and of intelligence, or they are the advisors for people to become technicians or to become leaders.

“The government has to acknowledge the important role of teachers for the growth of the sector of education and the necessity of involvement in developing the human individual and the society. The Teachers’ Association is concerned that all teachers should have a guarantee that they will be properly sustained for their role. More than 15 years after the general election of 1993, organized by the United Nations, the Royal Government of Cambodia has not provided solutions according to the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

“The Teachers’ Association is aware that many citizens have demanded schools and teachers for their regions that face severe shortages (especially in rural areas). The lack of schools and of teachers requires that the new government considers the huge obstacles before the goal of Education for All by 2015 can be achieved.

“All teachers receive low salaries, which means that they face shortages in their lives. Teachers live in poverty and struggle to survive with difficulties; however, they work hard to educate children and citizens in their communities.

“The announcement by the government to increase the basic salaries for teachers, for civil servants, for police, and for soldiers by 20% per year does not correspond to the price increases of goods at the market; that is, the prices of goods are hundreds of times higher than the increase of the salaries. The Royal Government increases the salaries by 20%, but the Royal Government does not decrease the prices of goods to balance the salaries, therefore teachers still face serious problems in their lives.

“In order to implement the second-stage of the Rectangular Strategy [a schenatic graph is here] with success and with good governance, the new-term Royal Government has to solve the problem of salaries for teachers to be appropriate with recommendations related to the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers adopted during the Special Intergovernmental Conference on the Status of Teachers, organized by UNESCO with the cooperation by ILO in Paris on 5 October 1966, in which the Item 122 stated that the process of the increase of basic salaries from the minimum to the maximum should not extend longer than 10 to 15 years.

Item 122

1.Advancement within the grade through salary increments granted at regular, preferably annual, intervals should be provided.

2.The progression from the minimum to the maximum of the basic salary scale should not extend over a period longer than ten to fifteen years.

3.Teachers should be granted salary increments for service performed during periods of probationary or temporary appointment

“During the celebration of the World Teacher’s Day, the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association demanded that the government solve the following teachers’ problems:

1.Increase the salaries to be balanced with the increase of the price of goods at the market.2.Decrease the market price of goods, particularly decrease the fuel price to Riel 4000 per liter.3.Provide good working conditions and stop the discrimination against the freedom of association at each school.4.Fully implement democracy and freedom of expression.5.Offer enough schools, teachers, as well as study materials and books to students.6.Eliminate corruption and adopt an anti-corruption law soon.”
Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #38, 6-7.10.2008
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Monday, 6 October 2008

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