Floodwaters inundate hundreds of schools

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Floodwaters inundate schools in Siem Reap province's Angkor Chum district on September 22. FACEBOOK

Flash floods have inundated more than 200 schools across 11 provinces in recent days: Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat, Ratanakiri, Oddar Meanchey, Kratie, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear and Preah Sihanouk.

Ly Bunna, director of the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport, told The Post that more than 70 schools in the province were currently flooded and most of them were primary schools.

“Currently, most schools are temporarily closed to protect the safety of young students, but they have to continue their studies until the end of November and they have to learn through Telegram and other online programmes,” Bunna said.

Tan Bunhong, Director of the Department of Education, Youth and Sport in Kampong Thom province, said that the current flooding situation has now eased slightly, but it continues to affect at least 47 schools, including two schools whose classrooms are severely flooded.

“At this time, some schools have reopened for students to return to study as normal while some schools continue to be closed due to the flooding. However, studying continues regardless with some students being required to attend other schools in person that are not flooded and others having to study online and through Telegram,” Bunhong said.

Bunhong appealed to parents and guardians of students to encourage their children to study hard and advise them not to play in the floodwaters and also be careful and watch out for poisonous animals like snakes because when there are floods like this all of the snakes, scorpions and centipedes are forced to flee from the rising water and they like to hide in schools, kitchens, barns, in trees and on hillsides.

According to a report by the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) for the first nine months of 2022 there were 206 schools flooded by flash floods, of which Siem Reap had the highest number of schools flooded at 79, Kampong Thom province had 45 schools that were flooded, while Banteay Meanchey province ranked third with 41 schools flooded after heavy rainfall this year.