Make Feb 14 a day of service, not romance


Message for the young: Minister Hang said both teachers and administrators must ensure their students’ strict obe­dience to the existing anti-virus rules. — Phnom Penh Post/ANN

The Education, Youth and Sport Ministry has issued a letter to all schools instructing them to curb any irregular activities on their campuses related to the Valentine’s Day holiday today in order to maintain compliance with all anti-virus precautionary measures and safety guidelines.

In a letter dated Feb 8, Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said teachers and administrators must ensure their students’ strict obedience to the existing anti-virus rules.

He also urged that the councils for children and youth in schools –both public and private – initiate information sessions for students using “peer educators” who can talk to them about the importance of maintaining safety measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 while studying.

The letter advised school boards to closely liaise with parents and communities in order to prevent any improper or immoral activities by students and to educate them about the risks involved with inappropriate behaviour.

Education ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said the ministry always issued instructions similar to these to stop students’ involvement with inappropriate activities on or around Valentine’s Day each year.

“We have noticed that the majority of students understand clearly that Valentine’s Day is not a traditional festival for Cambodians, ” he said.

“And we have communicated with students, parents and especially media networks to try and ensure that no one has any confusion about the meaning of Feb 14, ” he added.

Ros said the ministry had encouraged educational institutions to hold charitable events or social programmes wherever practical on Feb 14 for students to join instead.“On Feb 14 over the last few years, instead of celebrating a foreign holiday, students at all levels have come to learn as they normally would and then also participated in social activities such as blood donation, charity work and Buddhist mental health education, ” he said. — Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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