Aphorisms 

As I consider the truth behind Mark Twain’s aphorism, “The man who can read, but does not [read] has no advantage over the man who cannot,” I also wonder about the astoundingly high rate (59.33%) of Cambodian high school students who are incapable of earning a passing grade on standardized national exams without the benefit of bribery and cheating, and I see this has had a demoralizing affect upon students & teachers across the country. 

This number also highlights for me the inconvenient truth that Cambodia is a kleptocracy, and merit, although ideal in theory, in practice, is an almost useless novelty. As one student succinctly replied as I asked a room of college students why they always bring excuses rather than homework to class, “Why should we work hard when everyone knows people with money and government connections get the jobs, and college graduates clean their toilets?”

“The man who can read but does not has no advantage over the man who cannot.” ~Mark Twain

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