An official from the Ministry of Information has announced plans for the ministry’s 2024 Music and Children’s Song Awards, which aims to promote child rights.

Ministry spokesman Tep Asnarith said on February 21 that the event will be held as part of celebrations of this year’s June 1 International Children’s Day.

“The purpose of the awards is to allow Cambodian children to express their full potential. By encouraging them to demonstrate their courage and talent, they will have the opportunity to set an example for other children, the bamboo shoots who will one day lead the development of the country,” he said.

He explained that while singing and performance skills will be rewarded, the purpose of the competition is to showcase the importance of meaningful education, a love for traditional culture and adherence to good morals.

In addition, Asnarith said the programme would contribute to the elimination of child exploitation, the eradication of drugs, a better understanding of traffic safety, and the value of social ethics, including respect for parents, elders, teachers and other members of their communities.

Kong Samneang, head of the Federation of Education Services in Cambodia, expressed his support for the establishment of children’s competitions, as it is important to promote the courage of students.

“Art has a large part to play in children’s learning. If teachers are artistic, as well as well as educated, their students will love them. Schools should create songs with educational content in order to cultivate the participation of their students,” he said.

He urged both public and private schools to participate in the contest, suggesting that the ministry increase its outreach to ensure even schools in remote parts of the Kingdom can participate.

Applications are currently being accepted, with the ministry asking that talented singers and dancers contact it on 097 77 99 178 or 011 242 519.

While the exact date of the event has not yet been confirmed, the ministry shared that the organising committee has scheduled a meeting to produce detailed plans for the competition.

The children’s music contest has been held since the mid-1980s, when it was hosted by the National Television of Cambodia (TVK). In recent years, the information ministry has worked with various state institutions, NGOs and the private sector to stage the event.