Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Teaching Genocide

Khamboly Dy, who published A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979) through DC-Cam in Phnom Penh, argues that its time to teach the schoolchildren of Cambodia the facts about the Khmer Rouge period. Until now, the Khmer Rouge regime is scantily covered in textbooks and many children simply don't believe the stories of their parents and grandparents, or don't care. However, with the KR Tribunal progressing, the topic has never been so hot, so its a good time to press the Education Ministry to get it sorted. It's not just the addition of a new textbook that will do the trick as Dy argues but curriculum reform, teacher training and much more besides will be required. I can't agree more. Read Dy's assessment here.

Here's my April 2007 post on the publication of Khamboly Dy's book:
On Wednesday of this week, the first history book written by a Cambodian about the Khmer Rouge was published by DC-Cam in Cambodia. A History of Democratic Kampuchea was written by Khamboly Dy and will be avalable free to high school teachers and students as a core reference book. Cambodian schools teach little about the Khmer Rouge, largely because the subject is sensitive among political groups and high-profile individuals once associated with the guerrilla movement. And previous books about Cambodian history have been written almost exclusively by foreigners. Dy has worked with DC-Cam since 2003 and published a lot of articles in the Center's magazine, Searching for the Truth, as well as leading its Genocide Education project. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and is a Bachelor of Business Administration from Cambodia's National Institute of Management. Link.

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