Rumnea puts a brave face on it
I felt gutted for Rumnea this morning. It should have been her big day. Graduating in her accounting BA after 4 tough years studying at the Vanda Institute and receiving her diploma alongwith her proud classmates. Instead, she was dejected and upset that her big day was completely ruined by the ineptitude of the education authorities. With over 3,000 students graduating today, 80% of them women by the way, the hall at the University of Cambodia next to the Independence Monument was woefully inadequate. The main hall, where prime minister Hun Sen handed out a few diplomas, could cater for just a few hundred students, hundreds more sat outside under an awning watching proceedings on a video screen, whilst another 2,000 were milling around, under the hot sun, wearing their graduation cloaks and hats, unable to do either. There was no handing over of diplomas to the majority of the students, only the chosen few inside the main hall. And they were just the ones who had studied during the daytime. If students studied at night, they weren't even allowed in the hall. It was a complete shambles. And incredibly frustrating for Rumnea and the others. Their big day, the day they'd looked forward to for so long, was a wash-out. Rumnea fired off two angry text messages to the principals of the institute. She was red-faced with anger. Her mum had come all the way from Kompong Thom for the big day and was initially refused entry into the school compound by one of Hun Sen's bodyguards. Give someone a uniform and they think they have power over life and death. She eventually got in but there was nothing to see, so she left again after taking a few photographs. The saying, they couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery, was very apt for the education authorities in this instance. Rumnea overcame a lot of obstacles to complete her studies and get good marks, she and the other students deserved much better than this.
Rumnea with her proud mum, sister and friend I get in on the act as well, with the graduating student Rumnea was so disappointed that she took off her cloak and hat, but still managed a smile