Cambodia: Schools to remain closed until end of 2020; govt reports 2 new virus cases - 141 in total


PHNOM PENH, June 28: Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will delay school openings and high school graduation examinations until the end of the year to prevent a second wave of Covid-19, reports VNA.

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said schools will be reopened if they can adhere to high standards or Covid-19 prevention and control.

Speaking at a press conference for the construction of the “Centre for Digital and Distance Education” at Preah Sisowath High School last weekend, the minister said although the government moves to offer digital learning services, about half of Cambodia’s 3 million students still cannot fully access online lessons.

He said the government’s stance is to maintain vigilance as it doesn’t want the pandemic to spread again in Cambodia, adding that if Covid-19 spreads in Cambodia, the country will be set back 10 to 20 years.

Chuon Naron said: “We have to wait a little longer to see how it’s going in other places. We are waiting to see what happens to countries that open their schools first.

“Opening school late is much better than opening school with high risks. This is the stance of Prime Minister Hun Sen.”

He said: “We will continue the multi-teaching methods, both online learning and classroom learning. If the Covid-19 situation becomes normal, we will teach as much as possible.”

Chuon Naron said there are three million students enrolled at state general education schools. Among them, 30 per cent can buy smartphones and computers and 30 per cent can learn through television.

“Among the three million students, there are only one-and-a-half million who have accessed the digital education system. The other half depends on the books published by the ministry, ”

Schools in the country have been closed since early March when the first case of Covid-19 was detected.

Xinhua said that Cambodia on Sunday (june 28) confirmed two new imported Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 141, according to a Health Ministry's press statement.

The latest cases are two Cambodian males, aged 15 and 23 years old, the statement said, adding that both travelled to Cambodia from Malaysia via a direct flight on Friday.

"They were tested positive for the virus and are currently undergoing treatment at the Chak Angre Health Centre in southern Phnom Penh," Health Ministry's secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine said in the statement.

She added that other 105 passengers including 103 Cambodians and two Malaysians have been placed under a 14-day mandatory quarantine at various quarantine centers.

The South-East Asian country has recorded a total of 141 confirmed Covid-19 cases to date, with 129 patients cured and 12 remained hospitalised, said Vandine.

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