Saturday, July 23, 2016
Cambodia - Hun Sen Heals Student Problem
Nearly 100 students who were denied admittance to medical specialist programs at the University of Health Sciences after failing oral exams were retroactively accepted into the courses of their choice by Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday.
“In order to remove all sins, today I sent you a gift that all 99 students who failed the oral test, you can study in specialist doctor classes,” Mr. Hun Sen said.
Speaking in front of thousands of current students at the inauguration ceremony of a new university building, Mr. Hun Sen explained that his decision came after learning of a university policy regarding so-called reserve candidates, which he announced would be abolished by the beginning of next year’s application process.
Reserve candidates are students who are accepted to the University of Health Sciences’ medical specialist programs by default, regardless of their exam scores, provided there are not enough regular applicants who pass their written and oral exams.
“At the moment, I discussed with the health minister and rector of the university that from now on we will no longer have reserve candidates. We should select the number of accepted students which is determined,” Mr. Hun Sen said.
The 99 students who failed their oral exams passed their written exams, Mr. Hun Sen said, and would have been accepted to the university had it not been for a list of 67 reserve candidates waiting to snatch most of their spots.
Mr. Hun Sen became aware of reserve candidates after a student who failed his oral exam posted on the premier’s Facebook page, demanding justice for his exam score.
The student, Chay Makara, added that the scores of the 98 other denied students were on par with the reserve candidates’ who were ultimately accepted to the University of Health Sciences’ specialist programs.
“After I got information that reserve candidates have been allowed to be accepted, we were really disappointed. We also have the capacity, but we did not pass the reserve candidates because of quality and quantity requirements,” Mr. Makara said, adding that all the scores of reserve candidates should be investigated before their approval.
In March, Mr. Hun Sen implored the Ministry of Health to recruit more medical specialists to fill a growing need in the Kingdom. He announced at that time that medical specialists were in high demand by government hospitals, and that specialists wishing to work at state-run hospitals would be made public servants by way of an expedited process.
Yesterday Mr. Hun Sen also announced that the examination fee for next year’s class of University of Health Sciences students would be reduced from $150 to $25.