Saturday, July 17, 2010

Royal University of Phnom Penh & Swimming to Cambodia

Cambodia is a country which has taken several decades to crawl out of the shadows of colonialism, genocide and other turmoil.  America has also been a part of blowing up the country.    

Spalding Grey's Swimming to Cambodia might be a good introduction. 

A good indicator of how far and how much more to go can be indicated by the condition of higher education.  Higher education is a measuring stick for the health of a country.  Without a proper educational system, a country can not grow.  There is nothing more precious than human capital.

We had a visit to the Royal University of Phnom Penh.   It is one of the largest universities in Cambodia, and it is responsible for the bulk of the teachers in Cambodia.  It is also a good example of the struggles that define Cambodia today.  As a professor at the university, you might be making maybe about 100 dollars a month.  The salary rate in Cambodia isn't exactly great.  Also, you have to consider that there is a growth in private universities that pay out better salaries.  Retention of quality faculty members is difficult at the university.

Also, there is an issue of accreditation.  Within Cambodia, the degrees hold, but outside of Cambodia, that might be something else.  On the other hand, this is great for an institution nearly destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.  It has been a struggle to reestablish the university.  Now it is time to grow it.