Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 2 suggested that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport along with the capital and provincial governors allow students to use copies of their Covid-19 vaccination cards instead of carrying the original ones with them to school in order to avoid damaging or losing them.
“Children have a lack of care and if they get caught in the rain it could make life difficult,” he said. “I suggest they use copies of their cards and the original cards should be kept at home.”
“This is to avoid damaging or losing the original cards. Therefore, I would like to request that His Excellency the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports – as well as the governors of the capital and provinces – try to solve this problem by making copies of the vaccination cards, whether in black and white or colour,” he said.
He said that if families could not afford to copy the cards then the schools would have to facilitate the copying.
The prime minister suggested the use of a copy after he saw a picture of a barefoot student putting his vaccination card into a plastic bag and tying it to his shirt.
Hun Sen also told the Ministry of Health, National Covid-19 Vaccination Commission and the Ministry of National Defence to produce the vaccination cards with the names spelled correctly in English – matching the spelling on passports – because Cambodians will have to use them if they travel abroad.
“In cases where the names are incorrect on their passports, then they cannot travel abroad without fixing that anyways. So please pay attention to the proper spelling for names in both Khmer and English on the cards,” he said.
Hun Sen posted a photo of a seven-year-old boy named Kong Seiha who lives in Run Ta Ek commune’s Thmat Pong village of Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district. He is a first grader at Chey Primary School.
After the picture of the boy was posted to social media, many people announced they would provide financial assistance as well as study materials to him and his family.
Chea Chan Boribo, secretary of state at the Ministry of Information, donated funds and other gifts to the child, saying that he would give him 400,000 riel – which amounts to his entire salary – in order to buy shoes and school clothes
The Buddhism for the Education of Cambodia (BEC) organisation led by Venerable Hak Sienghai will be meeting with Kong Seiha in person and bringing him school supplies and items such as bicycles, bags, clothing and other necessities to support his family.
The BEC also plans to distribute study materials to the nearly 300 other students in his community on November 3, which may prove to be a busy date for Thmat Pong village as Siem Reap’s provincial leaders will be visiting with gifts that day as well.