Tag - National Exam

Young people remain blissfully unaware of the hidden dangers of mobile phones

ACCORDING to a 2008 census, Cambodia has a population of 13,395,682, with a growth rate of 1.54 per cent a year.

BuddeCom, a telecommunications research website, has estimated that this year, Cambodia has 8.4 million mobile subscribers.

With the rise in modern technology, and especially the introduction of the “smart” phone, mobile phones can be used for many purposes. People use their phones to take pictures, capture video, record sound, play music, listen to the radio, watch television and, perhaps most pervasively, surf the internet.

Cambodia now has nine mobile operators, up from a mere three in 2006.  These companies are competing constantly to provide the best calling rates and lowest mobile internet charges.

Those charges can be based either on data transferred or based on a package deal.  The former usually cost  about one cent per 100kb; the latter are usually around $3 a month.

These rates are not too expensive, especially compared with rates in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia.

Thanks to these reasonable rates, mobile-phone manufacturers have recently churned out a number of internet-capable phones at affordable prices around $30.

Some phone manufacturers co-operate with mobile operators by allowing users to surf the web free of charge within a given period of time.

All this means that today, there are more Cambodians, especially young people, using mobile phones than ever before.

In the past, people needed to take their laptops and USB internet modems with them whenever they wanted to access the internet.  Now, simply having a mobile phone is good enough, even for editing and emailing documents.  This is a good sign: it allows people to be more productive, even when they are on holiday or outside their office. Social networking sites have also grown in prominence now that your average phone can access the internet.

This has helped transform traditional methods of communication, with Facebook messages and/or text messages replacing letters and even email.

Nevertheless, technology  works well only when used as intended.  If not, it can lead to problems that are difficult to control.

In local newspapers across the country, stories are telling how students used their mobile phones to cheat during the recent national high-school exams.In a story titled “Ministry admits some exam proctors were bribed”, published in the Cambodia Daily newspaper on July 27, May Sopheaktra, a member of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, was quoted as saying:  “Mobile [phones] are popular in exam centres this year.  They’re used to make calls and get answers through the internet.

Students call friends to pass on the exam question, then call back during an exam break to get the answer.”

On the one hand, this is nothing new.  An article published by AFP on August 18, 2010 detailed how Cambodian students used their mobile phones to call for answers during an exam.

What’s new this year is that students are using their internet connections to acquire answers. This is only a suggestion, but I think  stricter rules should be placed on mobile-phone use during next year’s national school examinations.  Students should not be able to bring their mobile phones into the testing centres.

As chatting via mobile internet becomes more popular among young Cambodians, we need to make sure we are using the technology responsibly, or it may have drastic effects on our academic, professional and personal lives.

In some cases, reports have surfaced of students simply stepping out of the classroom to talk on their mobile phones if the subject being taught doesn’t interest them.

For people who lack time-management skills, using a mobile phone can prevent them completing any of the tasks they set themselves.

In conclusion, people should be using mobile-phone technology in a way that brings them success in life, rather than simply for pleasure.

By: Dara Saoyuth
This article was published on LIFT, Issue 84 published on August 17, 2011

What’s gonna happen in Cambodian National Exam this year?

Flag of Cambodia set to the shape of the country.

Image via Wikipedia

This year National Examination will start from 26th-28th July with about 100,000 students and about 191 places will be used as exam centers across the countries, according to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport report.

To prevent irregularities during the exam, Touch Naroth, the Phnom Penh Municipal police chief, said this year will be the same as previous years that he will put his police force to guard exam centers depend on the request of the Ministry of Education.

Despite having police officers guard all the exam centers, every year, many people especially those from non-governmental organizations and students always talked and shared their concerns about irregularities happening during the exam.

Rong Chhun, the president of the Cambodia Independent Teachers Association (CITA), claimed to see students bribed inspectors to let them open documents and use telephone during the exam last year.

He said if they allow this situation to be continued in Cambodia, it will affect to the educational quality and they cannot produce the real human resource. “Weakness in Educational System cannot help developing our country,” he said.

Rong Chhun said he forecasted that this year examination is neither different nor better than the previous year exam since he has received information from some provinces and some parts in the city saying that teachers are planning to collect money at about 10000Riels (about $2.5) per subject while the exam doesn’t start yet.

Rong Chhun explained the reason for the irregularities resulted from the practices of the ministry is still weak and the head of the Ministry receive benefit from this exam.

A grade-12 student from Chea Sim Samarki High School and also a candidate for the upcoming exam, agreed that cheating happens.

He said none of student knows everything; at least they are still lacking some points, so they have to fulfill these parts by cheating. He continued that there are 10 subjects for him to focus on and it’s difficult to be good at all of them.

The student said he is not the best student but he always gets good grades in class, so he has enough ability for the exam. “If it is strict during the exam, it will be easy for me,” he said. “When it is not strict in class, it always affects me because other friends around me drag my paper untidily,” he continued.

Rong Chhun urged students to trust in themselves for the forthcoming exam. “We will have enough abilities to compete for the job opportunities providing that we pass because of our own capacities,” he said. He continued that parents must trust in their children, and the Ministry of Education must determine to make the exam process better so that we can get better quality for the country.

Note: Result for National Examination for Grade 12 will be announced on 20 August 2010 at noon for Phnom Penh, Kandal province and will be on 21 August 2010 for other provinces.

Written by: Dara Saoyuth