Gay Gather around Beoung Kak

By Sun Narin

A 33-year-old gay, Sok Visal whose hometown in Kampong Cham province, has been gay since he was young and his parents and family are embarrassed and do not want him to be like that. However, he said that being gay is from his birth and he wants to live in such a life.

Facing the prohibition and dislike from his family, he decided to leave his family in the province to leave in Phnom Penh.

“I do not have much freedom that I want in my family,” he said.

Sok Visal is now living in the area of Beoung Kak lake along long the railway in Toul Kork district, and shares a renting house with some several gay friends.

“Now no one can bother him and I have total rights to do what I want,” he said.

Aversion, prejudice and discrimination against gay known as MSM (Men Sex Men) have still existed in Cambodian society including in the family, working place and community as a whole. Area around development Beoung Kak lake by Shukaku company is now the place where a lot of gays estimated a hundred are living and consider it good place for them to gather together.

Sok Visal said that he followed his friends to live there since they find it safe place to live gay life.

“In here we have a lot of people and no one can say something bad about us,” he said.

Som Ratana, 24 and Si Phim, 22, who are gay and living in Beoung Kak area on adjacent to the railway share the same house with each other. Sim Phim whose parents were dead since he was young, is considered by Som Ratana’s mother as her child.

“My mother never says anything about this and she allows me to do what I want,” said Som Ratana.

Som Ratana and Si Phim sell their sex to the customers and perform gay show at some club during night to earn the money.

Si Phim said that her customers are both Khmer and foreigners such as Chinese and French.

“I can earn from 200 to 300 hundred dollars from this business,” he said.

……..to be continued…..

 

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Business at Diamond Island

By SUN Narin

Since the Diamond Island Night Market opens, Nge Muoy Ly, 26, the owner of Panleu Chan clothes shop, started her business and it bears fruit. Now she does not open her shop regularly since there are no people coming to visit the isle like before.

“I closed the shop a few days ago because no one comes to buy my clothes,” she said, adding that she used to earn from 60 to 80 dollars per day.

Wedding Venue at Diamond Island/photo by Sun Narin

Before the stampede incident killing 351 people and injuring hundreds, Diamond Island which is known as Koh Pich is a popular place for people to enjoy the entertainment venues and see the view there. Now the isle is silent comparing to before, fewer people go to visit the island, leading the business operations over there to bad condition, raising doubt whether the running will be able to recover to the normal situation in the shortcoming future or not.

A number of business operations have been running on the isle including entertainment places for children, fantastic garden, conventional buildings for wedding ceremony, shopping places, restaurants, ice-skating rink, night market, and many others. The isle has been developed from day to day and has been considered as the business area and local tourist attraction site. Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen said in September 2010 that the 555-meter skyscraper (1,820-foot) is going to emerge on this development zone.

“It [my selling] has plummeted compared to previous time. Only three to five people come to my shop per day,” said Kim Sa, 24, the owner of Yi Meng Heang Soup and Drink adjacent to the incident bridge.

She said that normally on weekends there were around 100 customers coming to her shop, and she made profits, adding that she used to close the shop at 11 or 12 pm, but now she closes before 8pm.

“Sometimes, people just come around, but they do not eat. I cannot afford to buy grocery let alone to pay for the shop,” she said.

Chhin Mey Ling, 27, who is the owner of Mey Ling souvenir shop at Diamond island, said that her business has been falling down extremely, explaining that normally she earned from 50 to 70 dollars, but now even ten dollars.

“There are no customers, only few people who just drive motors in and out,” she said, adding that “I think it is not easy to get back to normal situation. Now I am really in trouble. If it does not change, I will stop my business soon.”

Night market

Diamond Island did not charge the selling at night market in last year’s December and the shop owners will get 50 percent discounted for the following month if their business still does not recover according to the Diamond Island company.

Not only has the business at night market gone down sharply, but also those at entertainment places for children and adults. The owners are complaining about their business since there are fewer guests coming to play at their places.

“My business has been in crisis now. Few people come to play and sometimes no one plays,” said Sok Nam, 28, the owner of carousel, adding that he earns only 10 to 15 dollars per day comparing to previous time 100 to 200 dollars which he could earn per day.

The Island company did not charge Sok Nam and the other children entertainment for 2 months [November and December] but he is still worried about his business in the future because he did not know when people would come to visit this place as normal like before.

“Now I cannot afford to pay for the gasoline. I think it takes time to recover since people are afraid of the incident,” he said.

Since the opening of the Diamond Island wedding facilities, this place had also become a popular location for weddings due to its large banquting halls. There are dozens of the buildings for the wedding ceremony. Previously, people think that this is the best place for the wedding event, but now some people see the place as not good for their wedding and they changed to the other places.

Sambath, who was married on last year’s November 27 changed his wedding place from Diamond Island, said that he decided to change his marriage place after the stampede incident happened because all the guests were afraid of going there, following his parent’s saying that marrying there was not good at all.

“They [guests] are just quick to come and go and the wedding will finish early, so it will not be joyful,” he said.

“I do not think the place will be good for wedding in the future since a lot of people were dead there,” he said.

This idea resisting to celebrating wedding at Koh Pich is echoed by Mrs. Sok Chantha, 27, who changed her wedding party from Diamond Island.

“There would be no guests if I celebrated my wedding there and I would lose a lot of money for my marriage. I am afraid that it will bring ill luck to me in the future,” she said.

A number of Cambodian people who are Buddhist always consider the place bad for them to go since they are afraid of something evil will happen to them if they go there.

“I do want to go there anymore because a lot of people died, which makes me afraid, especially I do not want to see the fatal bridge,” said Ms. Kin Samoeurn, 26, who is living in Phnom Penh and often went there before the stampede incident, adding that there will be evil there causing a lot of deaths.

Chea Pech Borasy, 24, a year-four student at Institute of Foreign Languages at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, also agreed to Kin Samoeurn’s idea, saying that before she often went there on the weekend or holiday, but now she stopped going there because she is afraid of the place and do not want see the bridge.

“I will not go to the Island for any ceremony anymore because I am scared. My parents prohibited me from going there too,” said Chea Pech Borasy.

The Diamond Island developers have many development plans for this 100-hectare city which has been developed into residential and commercial area, now one of the most attractive spot for revelers in Phnom Penh both day and night.

Charles Vann, the spokesman of Diamond Island Company under Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC), said that the project still follows the master plan of the company without changing.

“It does not affect the whole plan. It is just short-time thinking and scare-mongering,” he said, adding that the business there has been starting recovered a bit, claiming that his company has organized concerts and other activities to attract the visitors to come like before.

There will be film and theater centers, commercial buildings, shopping mall, hospital, luxurious hotels and hundreds of housing buildings which have been under way, according to Charles Vann.

Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen said on November 29th that the Diamond Island will be developed as planned without any change and he would make this place more developed and appealing to the people more than before.

Meas Theara, 45, who still takes her two children to play at the entertainment venues, said that Diamond Island is still the good place for people to visit due to its modernity and a variety of entertainment.

“The fear was over. People should no longer think about that evil event,” she said.

E-learning

By Soeun Malydet

“…E-learning program provides convenient and quality education… learners do not need to study abroad…,” said Soeun Malydet

EDUCATION plays an important role in developing country. If we want to develop educational system in one country, the key factor is providing and expanding the wide varieties of choice of people to gain formal or informal education. To reach the efficiency goal, many people desire to study abroad because they think that they can practice and search many documents in native country. However, some people do not have enough ability, so they decide to study in local. Recently; Advancing of science and new technology, people can learn and search information everywhere and every time. It seems like the world is closed to us. This is considered as E-learning. So what is the meaning of E-learning and how does it affects to educational system in Cambodia?

E-learning is the process of learning and providing education through accessing the computer and internet. According to Cambridge dictionary, E-learning is the business of providing courses on the Internet for students so that they can study and learn at home. E-learning provides many skills, and training courses to meet the demands of students, staffs in many organizations or institutes who need to fulfill the required knowledge and to get the high quality to improve the achievement. In Cambodia E-learning is not so popular and well-known because there are not enough institutes which make it available for learners to process this system. However, there is only one institute in Cambodia which can provide E-learning. It is located at Economics Finance Institute (EFI) and it is cooperating with Charles Start University of Australia. At the institute, students have chance to study online in order to upgrade their knowledge and careers. E-learning has both good and bad effects.

E-learning has many essential benefits to contribute to the development of educational system in Cambodia in order to challenge with globalization. First, E-learning helps learners to develop the computer and internet skills which are applicable to other factor of lifelong learning. Learners will get used to computer as well as internet which are the main skill to challenge with real life situation in term of studying and working. Second, E-learning program provides convenient and quality education. For example, learners do not need to study abroad because it can cut down some expenses such as travelling cost or studying materials. In addition, it improves the quality of education. Student will successfully complete online program or computer skill based on their course. Moreover, they can build up self-knowledge and self-confidence in term of taking responsibility of their learning. Third, E-learning program decreases great expense on international exchange programs. For instance, in one year, there are large budgets on expenditure of educational system. However; E-learning program can help to reduce a part of expense. So, E-learning has benefit to educational in Cambodia based on a few positive points above.

Despite of merits of E-learning, there are some disadvantages caused by the program. First, learners may lack of familiar structure and routine may take getting used to. Students themselves do not involve to the real class activities and participate with classroom management or may not get used to true class environment. Second, Students may miss social interaction and feel isolated. They may find themselves lack of self-confidence to deal with the problem occurred face-to-face. They cannot improve their communication skills to make an effective communication with people in real society. Last but not least, students adopt poor learning habits and do not have motivation to learn which may give negative result in their study. They do not participate directly or get any recommendation from lectures on their real performance.

In conclusion, E-learning program has both bad and good effects on Cambodia education. It is good for improving the quality of education; however it is bad to some extend of education quality. I believe that this program will help some students who wish to pursue their knowledge without moving away from their country. It is also impeccable for lifelong learning, and it helps workers to get success in their career. However, it may not suitable for people who wish to study with the real environment. It is appropriate for higher levels in Cambodia education, but it is not applicable in lower levels. I hope E-learning will improve Cambodia educational system to be able to challenge with other countries.

Doctor Profession Ethics


By Ly Xi

“Doctor is the mother of the patients, so he or she must take care of the patients like taking care of the children,” said Ly Xi.

MEDICAL profession has been characterized since it is drawn in history by tremendous responsibilities of practitioner shoulder: extensive knowledge, proper moral, performance, dedication, self-denial, and mercy towards all the people without discrimination. Medical ethics dictates essence from teaching, which is called honesty, sound performance, and consciousness in every act. We can clearly see that the doctor service in Cambodia is not good since a number of doctors say something bad to the patients and they discriminate against the poor people.

Phnom Penh Post newspaper wrote an article of doctor profession ethics in 2010 November that upon entering the medical profession, Cambodian doctors must take a physicians oath similar to the one outlined in the World Medical Association’s declaration of Geneva. One of the central tenants is that doctors practice medicine with “conscience and dignity” with the health of their client as their “first consideration”. Similarly, the International Code of Medical Ethics states that “a doctor must practice his profession uninfluenced by motives of profit”. They may swear to follow these high ethical standards, but unfortunately, the situation doctors face in reality makes it rather difficult in practice. Without any infrastructure to guarantee compensation for their services, too many doctors in the Kingdom demand payment before beginning treatment.

However, as a professional and ethical doctor, he or she must have physician personal qualities and adhere to the duties. The first part of qualities of physician is sincerity, meaning that the physician is the person who patients, their family, relative and community is confident in. This confidence requires all the doctors to be sincere in all the patient’s treatment and counseling.  The second part is truthfulness which mentions that the physician must be truthful when she or he speaks, and writes or testifies any issue. He should guard against friendship ties or fear that may attempt him to give a testimony, report or speech that he knows is contradict to the truth. Thirdly, compassion and sympathy are also the main part for physician to consider. They should be sympathetic to his patient’s feelings and feel pity for his sufferings. Apart from dealing with them gently, the doctors must be kind to the patients. When talking them, the physician should not incorporate anything that may render him weak or helpless. He should know the differences in patient’s psychological condition and administer the proper technique that would help relieve his fear.

The forth part is that patience and tolerance which require medical professionals to follow. It entails dealing with people from people from all walks of life and it requires exercising a lot of patience and tolerance which the physician must do. The physician must tolerate patient’s manner and must abstain from reciprocating harm by refusing, for example, to treat a patient or diminish his right to be care for. Last but not least, humility: physician should be modest in his practice. He must not be arrogant or disdainful to his patient, no matter what background they come from. Rather, he should show respect to all of those who dealing with him.

Besides these qualities which doctors must have, the duties of the doctors are also important. As the doctors, they have to practice the profession to the highest level of knowledge, expertise, truthfulness, and honesty. Physicians have to contribute to improving the health services and in studying health problems in the community and propose the relevant proper solution, for example, smoking, drug addiction, road traffic accidents, and infectious diseases. Furthermore, the physician is expected to fulfill, skillfully, and proficiently in order to have a good medical service such as being a good listener to a patient’s complaints and understanding his suffering, respecting the patient’s view. This respect will persuade physician from advising the patient on his or her disease, referring the patients to other physician who can provide specialized treatment, helping the patients obtain the necessary report and information (the patients should seek the opinion of another physician in respect of his illness.), and prescribing continuously quality of medical care to patient with terminal or incurable disease until the last moment in their lives.

In short, the manner of the physician towards the patients must be sensible, by not discriminating against them such as race, pretty or ugly and rich or poor people. The importance roles of the physician should be knowledgeable and honest in his professional skill. By doing these,

Accreditation of University

 

By Noch sokhema

“… there are loads of unnoticeable advantages that lie behind this system for the universities and students to take into their consideration,” said Noch Sokhema.

 

“ACCREDITATION is the process whereby a structured programmed of learning or training enables participants to claim nationally respected certification which recognizes their achievements,” (Open College Network, Kent & Medway). Besides knowing that it improves our educational sector, we also have to know how it processes, ways to obtain it, and what are the benefits we will get from it.

According to worldwide learn (1999-2010), there are many steps in achieving accreditation, namely preparation and self-examination, peer review, visit and examination, judgment action made by accreditation organization, and continuous review. In preparation and self-examination, items as well as written reports, that represent the achievements of the institutions, are prepared to meet the standard level of accreditation organization. Moreover, peer review is also the important step of accreditation. Administrative and faculty peer visit the university in order to find the status of accreditation of that university by review vigorously on the prepared materials and the written reports. The next step is visit and examination, in which a team of peer reviewers and member of public make a visit to the institution, in the purpose of seeking quality standard. Following this, judgment action made by accreditation organization is used to examine the status of university whether it should give accreditation or not. Finally, continuous reviews is needed to review every two or three or even ten years in order to maintain the accreditation standard of the accredited institution. In this process, all steps need to be gone over again after each accreditation.

In order to become an accredited university, one must aware, not only the process, but ways to meet the requirements of accreditation organization so as to assess standard for the university. Owing to the ACC in 2010, the first requirement of the university is mission. Its purposes are to find out and determine the clarity, appropriateness and accuracy of its publicly disseminated mission. Second, Governing Structure, Management and Planning play a very fundamental role in pursuing the accomplishment by improving the quality of the university. Apart from this, the university mission, employment market and students’ needs, and so is its relevance to national development goals are needed for academic program to be updated. Besides, teaching staff must be the professionals in relation to their subject since good quality is a course of concern when providing to students and the university. What is more, things such as knowledge, competence and skill from students and student service are also put into use for the credit of the university. Next, libraries, research papers, computer labs, research stations, Internet, textbooks, etc are the kinds of teaching and learning resource that needs to adequate. After all, it supports both teaching and learning process and the quality of university. Also, adequacy must be met when considering physical facilities and other necessary equipments as well. On top of that, future and continuation of higher education program or other services depend entirely on financial management and planning, therefore it must stay under secure governance. Finally, information of the achievement of the university should be promoted so that public awareness can be raised on the development of the higher education institutions.

As far as the advantages of accreditation are concerned, it brings students good educational quality. For some reasons, students have faith in the accreditation university and believe that their time and money will not be wasted on such true knowledge. In addition, the financial aid opportunities are given to student who has enrolled the university, which has accredited by accreditation organization. In the case of student wanting to transfer course credit they have learned to new a university with new courses available for them, it is acceptable if the previous university has appropriate accreditation status. Lastly, employees from the standard university or accredited university may be wanted by employers, so learning in such university has its own benefits as well (worldwide learn 1999-2010).

In conclusion, accreditation is such a complicated process set by the accreditation organization. Therefore, obtaining it is also difficult. However, there are loads of unnoticeable advantages that lie behind this system for the universities and students to take into their consideration.

Credit System


By Khut Vanne

“….help them learn better because they have enough time to concentrate or pay attention on a few subjects…,” said Khut Vanne.

 

A CREDIT system is a systematic way of describing an educational program by attaching credits to its components. The definition of credits in higher education systems may be based on different parameters, such as student workload, learning outcomes and contact hours. (http://www.upjs.sk/en/university/education/credit-system/) Credit system is most preferred by the USA, European Union as well as other developed countries like Australia, Canada, France, Singapore, and so on.

There are many advantages of credit system in Education system. For one thing, the university which adopts such a system allows their students to choose subjects they want to do first. Hence, students feel free to learn; they have much more freedom in deciding on which subject they wish to do first and next. Some students take a few subjects per term so they have lots of free time to pre read or review the lessons. Fewer subjects mean less pressure as well as workloads. This can help them learn better because they have enough time to concentrate or pay attention on a few subjects, unlike normal education system, it is compulsory for students to learn many subjects in the same semester.

One more thing is that they can take free time to do part time job if they wish. Second, they can suspend the unwanted or difficult subjects and learn them later. This allows them to be well-prepared and ready to start these subjects later after finishing the others, while in normal education system, you are not allowed to suspend any subjects, if you wish to do so, you have to suspend for one semester or one year. This really takes time. What is more, those who achieve very satisfactory or high GPA are allowed to add the other subjects in the same term. Doing this, you, sometimes, even complete the course earlier than usual curriculum.

Another advantage comes to the duration of study. Unlike normal education system: under no circumstances can students take more than 6 years to complete the Bachelor’s degree otherwise you will not reward the certificate, the credit system does not limit the duration or length of study, which means you can still continue to do your course, regardless of duration, as long as you fulfill all the credits required by the university. Therefore, it is advantageous compared to normal education system. In addition, credit System University enables you to enroll more than once a year while it is different from normal education system-there is registration or enrollment once annually.          One more advantage is that not only can you study with the same year level peers but also with the others from different year level-year 1, 2, 3 or 4 altogether. This really helps you in sharing experiences, knowledge with many people who possess variety of education backgrounds through communicating, discussing in the class or group work and so forth. Besides, it is really helpful for those who do not satisfy with their results; they can retake the subjects and exams to achieve the results they want while another system cannot help you with this – if the result is less satisfactory, you cannot do anything to amend it but to accept it. Plus, credit system plays a vital role to help those who are busy or cannot catch up with the lessons well have more time to pre read, review or prepare for the subjects they have chosen to learn.

On the minus side, in credit system, you are still required to take the foundation subject prior to commencing the main one in next term or semester. For example, to study Macro economics, it is compulsory for you to preliminarily take Micro economics. If you fail to take it, you are not allowed to learn Macro economics in the next term. To illustrate, my boss at my work place used to share his education background to colleagues. At the very first time he went to study in Australia, he did not know much about its education system as he had studied in Cambodia with normal education system. Upon arriving and learning there, he couldn’t catch up with some lessons; as a result of which, he wanted to suspend some subjects. As Micro economics and Statistics in semester 1 were both difficult, he decided to choose one of them to suspend; that was Microeconomics.

However, he was not allowed to do Macroeconomics in semester 2 since he had not studied Micro economics in semester1. So this is the problem if you fail to recognize which subject is the foundation of which subject. Moreover, following credit system can also be deemed to be a waste of time. This is because it enables students to learn irrespective of duration and too much freedom on completing their course. It is ok for some students who cannot catch up with the lessons or busy doing another work; however, some lazy students will also use the same reasons as their pretexts for subject suspension. This is also a part which makes them not committed to study as they think they have choices to complete their courses while normal education system poses a strict regulation for students to conform especially on the duration of course completion.

Overall, in my point of view, the pros of credit system outweigh the cons. Therefore, I suggest that universities should adopt such a system for education system so that we all will get advantages from it as well as the improvement of education system.

Brain Drain


By Chea Vicheka

“Countries having a brain drain are losing human capital to countries having brain gain,” said Chea Vicheka.

BRAIN drain refers to depletion or loss of intellectual and technical personnel (Wikipedia, 2011). It can be simply defined as the mass emigration of technically skilled people from one country to another country.  Brain-drain can have many reasons such as political instability of a nation, lack of opportunities, health risks, insecurity, personal conflicts etc. Brain drain is a phenomenon of human capital flight which might spell outflow of human capital out of a nation. Brain drain usually occurs in developing countries including Cambodia where there are a lot of outflow of knowledge to more developed nations like the US. The emigrated intellectuals take with them pools of knowledge out of their original countries and apply in their immigrated countries. From this phenomenon, developing countries such as Cambodia, Africa, the island nations of the Caribbean and formerly Soviet Union nation are having a brain drain while America or European Union are having a brain gain.

There are two aspects for the reasons of brain drain that come from countries and individuals. In terms of countries, the reasons may include lack of opportunities, political instability, economic depression, health risk in developing countries making social environment in developed countries attractive. Rich opportunities, political stability, freedom, developed economy and better living conditions are among the factors in fostering emigration to rich nation such as America and European Union (The Gemini Geek, n.d). Brain drain is also driven by individual reasons such as family influence, i.e. overseas relatives, personal preference for exploring, ambition for an improved career, etc.

Brain drain is usually regarded as an economic cost to developing countries because the emigrants usually take with them the value of their training sponsored by their government or other organizations. The original countries experience the drainage of skilled individuals who otherwise would work to support their economy and their country. On the other hand, brain-gain is merely an opposite situation to brain-drain. Countries that gain skilled workers who migrate from developing countries are usually having a brain gain. Countries like USA, Canada and UK are having brain-gain because these nations are rich and have enough work opportunities. Moreover, they provide better facilities, incentives and life styles.

Brain drain exhausts technological and knowledge resources which reduces productivity of a nation. Developing countries must address the causes of brain drain and increase efficient use of their resources including local skilled citizens for development and growth. To hold these skilled workers at their native places, it is also important to provide them with enough work opportunities, decent living facilities, and better incentives. Those skilled workers migrate to other countries because they hope to find a better working condition suitable for their expertise, where these may not be available in their home countries. To stop this, they have to be motivated to return home where their know-how knowledge is valued.

In conclusion, countries having a brain drain are losing human capital to countries having brain gain. In addition, these countries are usually poor, under-developed or developing making the brain drain inevitable. To relieve this problem, the government should not only nurture local human resource but also retain the human capital for development purposes. Developed countries should help these countries with necessary money and resources so that they can improve and upgrade social and economic status. Brain drain is an issue that developing countries must address in order to catch up with developed nations in terms of standard of living, technology and social welfare.