dimanche, décembre 02, 2007

ADB Comes to Enhance Secondary Education

News from Cambodia N° 0743-E


Khemara Jati
Montréal, Québec
Le 30 novembre 2007

We diffuse below information diffused by KI Media onto this subject. We wish that at the same opportunity ADB helps to improve schoolbooks in national language, making coherent the cambodian scientific language in order to make it compatible with an university education in all subjects into cambodian? It is the only way to get Cambodian people out of the ignorance then the disease and the misery. Educated people never agree to live under the dependence or the domination of the other.

We then wish that the ADB also helps Cambodia to develop our university education, in all domains, by using gradually the cambodian language as the basic language.

We wish that the ADB favors a very big importance to the education of the girls. The educated women are the fundamental bases of a nation. On the other hand the Cambodian society was matriarchal. But nowadays, it is too much influenced by foreign masochist cultures. It is necessary to restore the Cambodian woman to the place where she occupied in past since the antiquity. Have not the Japanese archaeologists in cooperation with Cambodian geologists just discovered the graves of the beginning AD, the Cambodian women with swords? It is inadmissible that nowadays we murder and we deform the Cambodian women with the acid with impunity.

« If one think of season, then plant cereal. If one think in years, then plant trees. If one think for the future, then educate the people ».

Following our last article entitled « The Buddhism, the Science and the Ethics » one of our readers raise that all the Jews or almost, speak English. It's true. But they also master their own mother tongue. Many Jews are polyglot. And it since the antiquity. There are learned Jews in the Big Library and in the Museum - University of Alexandria, since its creation in the IVth century before J. C. until its destruction in the IVth century. In the VIIIth century, until the XIIth century, the Arabs used learned Jews to translate the Greek and other texts into Arabic. In Arabic Spain, learned Jews translate Arabic texts into Latin. The first translation of Euclide's geometry in Latin was made from an Arabic text. Also let us remind that the Frenchman Gerber d'Aurillac, become a pope under the name of Pope Sylvestre II (938, pope 999 in 1003) known for his learning, studied in Barcelona. The scholars of Barcelona have very good relations with the Arabic university of Cordoba. The Library of Cordoba has from 400 000 to 600 000 volumes. At the University of Barcelona, the future pope learnt in particular to use the decimal numeration of position with Arabic numerals including the zero symbol, for four arithmetic operations. He would have even gone to visit the Cordoba University. Because this university was opened to the Arabs and to all other religions. (Let us remind that the position of decimal numeration was invented by the Chinese; that the most ancient material testimony concerning the using of the zero sign is in Cambodia, revealed for the first time by George Coedes. We shall return on this subject in the next time.

« ... according to a Spanish traveler studying in Bagdad at the end of the 10th century, the sessions which held " mutakallimûn " were frequented « not only (by) the Moslems of all the orthodox and heterodox sects, but still (by) the Unfaithful, Zoroastres, materialists, atheists, Jews, Chretian, in brief by people of various religion. Every sect had her leader, in charge to defend the opinions which it professed when one of them came into the room, all got up respectfully and nobody sat down before he sit. Very fast, the room fills and one of the Unfaithful spoke: « we met, he says, to discuss. You, Moslems, do not attack us with some argument cited from your book or based on the authority of your Prophesy; let us be all held in the levels based on the human reason. » This condition was unanimously accepted ». (In « Ce que la culture doit aux Arabes d’Espagne » by Juan Vernet, Ed. Sindbad, Paris 1978, p. 24).

Juan Vernet also writes that the Arabs exchanged prisoners for books left by Chrétien in the boxes and considered as explosives. Read also « A History of the Arabic Science » by Ahmed Djebbar, Publishing by du Seuil, Paris 2001.

The fast development of the knowledge in Europe was of the printing office invention in 1450. Since this date the Europeans conquered the world until the middle of the XXth century. The Arabs used the printing office only three centuries later. « The Arabic Printing office in West », by Josée Balagna, Edition Larose & Maisonneuve, Paris 1984.

But knowing profoundly one or several foreign languages and to ignore her own mother tongue is specific peoples who do not manage to unite in countries eternally in development. Because the language is the base of a whole culture, a civilization bequeathed by our ancestors, by our history of more than three thousand years. How to unify a country with a small minority of persons educated well in foreign languages and disdaining her own mother tongue? And flooded in the ocean of people who speaks another language?

There are Cambodians and Cambodians married with Jews. None of them speaks Cambodian. They are all Jews, speak Jewish and at least the language of the country where they live. It's the same of all the Cambodians who married with Europeans or to North Americans. But there is some exceptions, the most known is Michel Antelme, born from French father and from mother Cambodian. He is now a professor of Cambodian in Oriental Languages in France. He is a specialist of the relations between the Cambodian language and the Siamese language. In an interview with the monthly magazine Chatomuk, Michel Antelme regrets that the Cambodians ignore their mother tongue. We can add as consequence they ignore the history of their own country.

It is painful to attend scenes where a Cambodian family coming from France meets another family living in the United States. The children living in France, speak only french. To communicate between them, the children of the family living in France speak to his own parents who translate into Cambodian to the parents living in the United States. Then the last one translates into English for his own children. The problem is less complicated when the Cambodians living in France know English. But, then, the conversation becomes incomprehensible for those who do not know English. Some cases are more complicated. The children frequenting secondary schools, then universities acquired knowledge, while parents know only the French or English language for the current life. There is then impossible of any kind of communication of certain cultural level.

One of our readers writes us that « Cambodians who disdain her mother tongue, disdain her culture, her parents, her ancestors and thus the history of their country. They take seriously only texts written by foreigners, as books on the history of Cambodia papers wrote by foreigners. » We often forget that our written language, invented in the VIth century, is the most ancient of the Southeast Asia. Which intellectual pleasure, which pride while having in hands the « Dictionary of the Ancient Khmer » of Long Seam, published in Phnom Penh in 2000, and to see the evolution of our writing for 1 400 years back. It is the first dictionary where the ancient writing is translated into modern writing. Why our texts on stone are translated into french by George Coedes with the cooperation of Au Chhieng, professor of the sanskrit and the palis at the École des Hautes Études, but still not translated into modern Cambodian ?

We send our profound admiration to our sisters, brothers and fellow countrymen of Thailand and Kampuchea Krom for their struggles for centuries, to protect our ancestral common language. We send them our profound gratitude and recognition, for giving a masterful lesson to the Cambodians who disdain our language bequeathed by our common ancestors since millenniums. In return, our struggle for the development of our language in universities in Cambodia will bring them more effective helps, in their fights to protect the language and the culture bequeathed by our common ancestors.

Do not the misfortunes of Cambodia result largely of this contempt of our language by « intellectuals » sometimes of very high level ? To disdain her mother tongue is not also to disdain her own parents, her own ancestors, her own people and thus the history of her own homeland? A man who ignores the history of his own country does not the person who lives as an amnesic?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ADB extends 27.1 mln usd grant to enhance secondary education in Cambodia


MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is extending a 27.1 mln usd grant to help improve the quality of secondary education in Cambodia through institutional reforms, teacher training and improving facilities.

The project is estimated to cost 33.38 mln usd and the government of Cambodia will cover the balance.

The project involves enhancing the capacity of the government's ministry of education, youth and sport in planning, managing, administering and regulating the education system of the country.

Teacher training colleges will be provided with better facilities, while some 14,400 lower and upper secondary teachers will benefit from in-service training under the project. Around 300 upper secondary schools will also be assisted in school management, networking and improvement planning.

The project will also provide 350,000 upper secondary students with new textbooks and 7,000 upper secondary teachers with teachers' guides.

The overall quality and efficiency of education in Cambodia remains a serious concern. Low enrolment rates at the secondary level and low percentage of students completing school indicate there are large numbers of young people outside the school system who may be unskilled and unemployable, the ADB said.

Within the education system, schools have poor physical infrastructure and inadequate learning materials, laboratories and libraries. Teachers are also poorly qualified and unmotivated.

Limited resources hamper the ability of the government to make improvements and the poor performance of the education system wastes whatever limited resources are available, it added.