Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has requested that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport conduct a study on establishing education centres along the lines of the One Window, One Service offices to assist students with finding employment after they finish their studies.

Sar Kheng made the request on December 29 while visiting the provincial authorities of Battambang, teachers and staff at the National University of Battambang.

“I requested that the education ministry study the idea of creating education centres to be built in addition to the current secondary schools, high schools, universities and vocational training schools,” he said.

“[When students] finish studying, they can get a job through such centres, which could sort of be like the One Widow, One Service offices,” he said, suggesting that the ministry also search for any countries that already have such centres so that they can learn from their experiences.

Sar Kheng said the education sector in Cambodia is developing quickly, noting that in the early years following the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime on January 7, 1979, not many educated people remained alive in the Kingdom.

The situation back then, he said, required everyone to learn on the job as they gathered the remaining teachers and academics to begin rebuilding the education sector.

“[Back then] people who knew a lot taught those who knew a little. And people who knew a little taught those who knew nothing,” said Sar Kheng, recounting the slogan they came up with for the task of rebuilding Cambodia’s education system.

The minister recalled how in 1979 they realised after Pol Pot was deposed that he had killed most of the educated people, teachers, students and intellectuals – an unthinkable crime that was also deeply stupid because it crippled his regime’s ability to govern the country effectively.

He said the few intellectuals that remained were gathered to begin developing human resources in the sector and that some educated people from other professions who survived the reign of terror then volunteered to enter the educational sector to pass on their knowledge to others.

“Now we have tens of thousands of qualified educators, officials and teachers with advanced degrees who are providing education services at all levels to our people and society,” Sar Kheng said.

Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said his ministry would discuss the idea further with the interior minister and would inform the public after undertaking a study of the proposal.