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Oldest High School Exam Candidate This Year Expresses Gratitude to the Prime Minister

BANTEAY MEANCHEY: Hem Sinath, 56, was the oldest candidate who participated in the high school exam this year. Unfortunately, she failed her exam, however, she received 10 million riel from Prime Minister Hun Sen encouraging her to study hard for next year.

The 56-year-old is reported to have received the Prime Minister's donation through the True Money transfer service. She also received an additional US $350 and other donations.

Speaking to EAC News over the phone, Hem Sinath said that she had withdrawn the money and wished the Prime Minister to always be in good health.

Hailing from her hometown in Kampot province, she emphasized that the more than 10 million riel will be used to support the education of her seven grandchildren and also herself. In addition, she plans to start a small business by selling snacks, food, and study supplies at Thmor Miel Primary School in Thmor Miel Village, Banteay Chhmar Commune, Thmor Puok District, Banteay Meanchey Province, to earn money to support her grandchildren.

Hem Sinath wanted to be a teacher from an early age, but her family did not allow her to study, so she decided to drop out of school after completing ninth-grade 9 in 1985. In 1987, she married and had four children, two girls and two boys, and moved from Battambang to Banteay Meanchey in 2008.

In 2010, she was selected as a teacher due to the shortage of teachers in the region where she lived, and she worked there until 2018. From 2018 until now, she has been a literacy teacher at Thmor Miel Primary School. She wanted to become a general education teacher, but the Ministry of Education required a high school degree to be eligible for the general education teacher exam. So, in 2022, she chose to take the high school exam, but failed.

Hem Sinath said she will continue to study for the next exam, even despite being old and with eyesight and memory that are not as good as before.

She has advised other candidates who failed the exam not to give up and to continue their studies in order to become better human resources for the nation.

Hem Sinath said she considers education to be a bridge that allows her to see the light and allows her to contribute to educating children as well. This is why she is determined not to let her grandchildren drop out of school like she had when she was young, and she said she will help them continue their studies in order to provide them with a good future and job.

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