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Home 2018 Conference Educational and Cultural Tours

Educational and Cultural Visits

The purpose of the tours is to provide an opportunity for international visitors to gain insights into the Cambodian educational context, culture, and history as well as the city life and views of Phnom Penh.

For presenters at the conference this is an excellent opportunity, prior to presenting to a predominantly Cambodian audience, to gain first-hand impressions of local schools and the local learning environment. For first-time visitors to Cambodia, these tours will enhance your experience of the country and provide you with a better understanding of the educational context of the CamTESOL conference as well as the culture and lifestyles of the Cambodian people.

Participants may choose between the following organised tours:

     1. City Tour of Phnom Penh
     2. Cultural Tour
     3. Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum (S-21)
     4. Mekong River Cruise
     5. Private Language Schools
     6. Public Schools
     7. Regional Teacher Training Centre (RTTC)

Educational and Cultural Visits are scheduled for the morning of Friday, 09 February 2018. Tours will commence promptly at 8:30 am and finish after lunch at 1:30 p.m. Pick-up will take place at the poolside area of the Cambodian Hotel with registration starting from 7.30am. There will be a maximum number of participants on each tour.

Tour #1: City Tour of Phnom Penh (Highly recommended)

This is a cyclo ride tour of the city. The cyclo is a Khmer traditional tricycle that was popularly used in Cambodia in the past. The tour will give first-time visitors to Cambodia a glance to some iconic views and cultural sites of Phnom Penh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The cyclo ride takes place along the riverfront passing by the Royal Palace toward Wat Phnom, a Buddhist pagoda which gives the city its name and is the only “hill” in town. Visitors will spend about 30 minutes visiting historical and cultural sites before heading toward the Independence Monument. Visitors will also visit the statue of the late King Norodom Sihanouk.


Wat Phnom

Located in central Phnom Penh on top of a 27m-high tree-covered knoll, Wat Phnom gives the capital its name. Legend has it that the first pagoda erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha brought in on the Mekong River and discovered by Madame Penh.  The temple sanctuary was rebuilt in 1434, 1806, 1894 and 1926. A huge stupa situated on the west containing the ashes of King PonheaYat (1405-67). Today it is become a popular place for people to come to pray for good luck and success. The offerings such as a garland of jasmine flowers or a bunch of bananas will be delivered to the spirit as promised when the wish is granted.




Independence Monument

An Angkorian-style tower, Independence Monument (VimeanEkareach in Khmer) was built in 1958 to symbolise Cambodian Independence Day after winning back independence from French colonial rule on 09 November 1953. With its spectacular unique style, the Independence Monument attracts many tourists every day. Moreover, the Independence Monument is also used as a memorial place dedicated to Cambodian patriots of the country.



Tour #2: Cultural Tour  

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace was built in 1866 during the reign of King Norodom.  Around the palace there are a number of classic Khmer-style buildings, notably the Silver Pagoda. The Silver Pagoda was built by King Norodom in 1892 and rebuilt by Norodom Sihanouk (1926-2012). The floor of the Silver Pagoda contains 5,000 silver tiles, each of them said to weigh 1 kilogram.   Nearby HorSamrinPhirun houses a collection of gifts from foreign heads of state. Look for the Napoleon III Pavilion, a gift to King Norodom in 1876; this European building is strikingly different from other buildings in the palace grounds.




The National Museum

The magnificent building of the National Museum of Cambodia was inaugurated in April 1920. George Grolier, (1887-1945) historian, curator and writer who encouraged the revival of traditional Cambodian Arts and Crafts designed the building. The Museum, now under the direction of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, houses a collection of Khmer cultural materials, including stone sculptures, bronzes, ceramics and ancient historical pottery. The building has a beautiful central courtyard and garden, a haven of peace on a hot day. There is also a small research library for the use of museum staff, researchers and students of the Royal University of Fine Arts. This library has a small but quite significant collection of books and journals in Khmer, French, and English, mostly books on art and archaeology, and museology.



Tour #3: Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum (S-21)

Prior to 1975, ToulSleng was a high school. When the Khmer Rouge came to power it was converted into the S-21 prison and interrogation facility. Inmates were systematically tortured to extract confessions, after which they were executed at the killing fields of ChoeungEk. S-21 processed over 17,000 people, less than a dozen of whom survived. The building now serves as a museum, a memorial and a testament to the madness of the Khmer Rouge regime.




Tour #4: Mekong River Cruise (Highly recommended)

Cambodia is a land of water and the perfect place to experience an exciting boat trip. The Mekong River flows through the centre of the country. Right in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is where the Mekong gives birth to three other rivers including the Tonle Sap, Bassac River and the Lower Mekong that flows to the sea. The Tonle Sap is the only river in the world where the water current reverses between the rainy and dry seasons. A boat cruise through the four rivers area offers excellent views of Phnom Penh and the Royal Palace. Continuing the river cruise up the Mekong, we reach a silk village where we will stop to explore silk weaving and a temple.



Tour #5: Private Language Schools

Beyond the formal education sector, a great many Cambodians study English in an astonishing arrays of private schools. Since Cambodia opened up to the free market in the past decade, the number of English schools has mushroomed. Many Phnom Penh streets are strung with colorful advertisements designed to tempt young people into the classrooms. English language education became a boom, and communicative competence in English means a better job and a better pay. Though English is taught as part of the national curriculum, private classes exist at all levels and is run by private sectors. Private language school is accessible mainly in the capital of the country, but it is also available throughout the provinces of Cambodia.

Tour #6: Public Schools

Education in Cambodia is controlled by the state through the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) in a national level and by the Department of Education at the provincial level. Currently, the Education Strategic Plan 2014-2018 places its focus on Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, Secondary and Technical Education, Higher Education, Non-formal education, Youth Development, Physical Education and Sport.Teaching style currently characterized by formal lecturing, copying, recitation and memorization will be shifted to encourage thinking and reasoning skills; teacher standards will be implemented to better monitor, appraise and develop teacher performance.

Tour #7: Regional Teacher Training Centre (Highly recommended)

RTTC-Takhmao is one of the six Regional Teacher Training Centres in Cambodia. It is located in Takhmao Town of Kandal Province, about 25 minutes from Phnom Penh. Its main role is to prepare future lower secondary school teachers in an assigned subject such as Khmer Literature, Mathematics, Sciences, English language and Pedagogy. Each year RTTC-Takhmao trains around 500 trainees from the provinces of Kandal, KompongChhnang and KompongSpeu Province.