Friday, June 18, 2010

Genocide Education Project:

The Teaching of 'A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979)'

Third Commune Teacher Training: Pursat, Siem Reap, and Svay Rieng Provinces

June 24-30, 2010

Since the fall of the Democratic Kampuchea regime in January 1979, efforts to teach Khmer Rouge history to Cambodians, especially the younger generation, have been limited either to official political propaganda or to stories privately shared between parents and children.

Twenty-eight years later, the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) published a textbook, A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979), written by Khamboly Dy, a Cambodian researcher. It was reviewed by the Government Reviewing Committee and finally approved as a supplementary material for the teaching of Khmer Rouge history in secondary schools throughout Cambodia starting with the 2010-2011 academic year. For the second year in a row, the national high school examination has included five questions on Khmer Rouge history, making the teacher trainings all the more timely and necessary.

DC-Cam has distributed 300,000 copies of the textbook free of charge to students across the country and plans to distribute 700,000 by the end of the year in order to reach all 1,000,000 students grades 9-12. It has also developed a teacher’s guidebook and student workbook to accompany the textbook. With these materials, the Center is currently working with the Ministry of Education to train a total of 3,200 teachers nationwide in methodologies for teaching Khmer Rouge history to students objectively and with pedagogical effectiveness. Over 1,600 history teachers will have been trained before the end of 2010, and an additional 1,600 literature and morality teachers will be trained in 2011.

National and provincial teacher trainings were held in 2009. The first commune teacher training was held in April 2010 in four provincial training centers: Kampot, Preah Sihanouk, Stung Treng and Kratie. Commune teachers from Kampot, Kep, Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Kratie, Mondul Kiri, Ratanak Kiri, Preah Vihear and Stung Treng provinces participated in this training. The second commune teacher training was conducted on in May 2010 in three locations: Prey Veng, Kampong Thom and Takeo. Participants were from four provinces: Prey Veng, Kampong Thom, Uddor Meanchey, and Takeo.

The third commune teacher training will be conducted on June 24-30, 2010 with participants from Pursat, Pailin, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, and Svay Rieng.

For more information, please contact:

Pheng Pongrasy 012 225 522; Chy Terith 012 79 53 53


Khmer Rouge History Textbook Distribution Forums

in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold, Anlong Veng

June 21, 2010

The Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has formally endorsed A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979) as a core material for teaching Khmer Rouge history in Cambodian classrooms at the secondary school level nationwide starting with the 2010-2011 academic year. The Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) has distributed 300,000 copies free of charge since it first published the textbook in April 2007. It now seeks to distribute an additional 700,000 copies by late 2010, ensuring that every Cambodian student grade 9-12 has a copy and that each school has a hundred library copies. For the second year in a row, the national high school examination has included five questions on Khmer Rouge history, and this year for the first time asked the names of the top Khmer Rouge leaders, making the widespread availability of the textbook all the more essential.

To date, DC-Cam has distributed the textbook to over 1,500 lower and upper secondary schools across Cambodia. Book distribution forums are conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, supported by the Ministry of Interior and held in provincial towns where all district education heads receive copies of the textbook for their area schools.

On June 21, DC-Cam and the Ministry of Education will distribute 1000 textbooks at Anlong Veng High School in Anlong Veng district, Uddor Meanchey province. Teachers will distribute the rest to students throughout the district. This is the first book distribution in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold. As the battlefield between the Khmer Rouge guerrilla forces and the Royal Government of Cambodia until 1998, Anlong Veng is a unique historic site. A majority of teachers are former Khmer Rouge cadres and many of the students are the children of cadres. Their reactions to the new curriculum will thus be of particular interest.

Author Khamboly Dy, DC-Cam Director Youk Chhang, and Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) International Co-Prosecutor Andrew Cayley will speak at the ceremony and answer questions related to Khmer Rouge history and the special tribunal. H.E. Ms. Ton Sa Im, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, will preside.

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