Lycée Sisowath

Lycée Sisowath (Khmer: វិទ្យាល័យព្រះស៊ីសុវត្ថិ; also Sisowath High School) is a secondary school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The school was founded in 1873 as a collège (middle school) and became a lycée (middle and high school) in 1933. It is named after King Sisowath.

Lycée Sisowath
Pasteur St. (51)

School typePublic
Established1873; 149 years ago (1873)
FounderFrancois Fontaine
PrincipalMul Suyheng (មូល ស៊ុយហេង)
Teaching staff300+
Campus size4 hectares (9.9 acres)


Under the initiative of François Fontaine, the first "modern" Franco-Cambodian school was established in the year 1873. It was the French-language School of the Protectorate, in Phnom Penh. The School of the Protectorate was renamed Collège of the Protectorate in 1893 and then Collège Sisowath in 1905. The Collège prepared students for service in the French colonial administration, the judiciary and the indigenous administration. During the French Protectorate, the school was heavily dominated by Vietnamese immigrant children.

In 1933, the Collège Sisowath became the Lycée Preah Sisowath. The first Cambodian students graduated from the Lycée Sisowath with baccalauréats in 1939. Only 144 Cambodians had completed the full baccalauréat by 1954. The Ministry of Education took measures to use the Khmer language at all education levels including Lycée Sisowath beginning in 1967.

During the Khmer Republic, the school was renamed twice: first to Lycée du 9 octobre in 1970, after the date of the declaration of the republic by the Lon Nol regime, then to Phnom Daun Penh High School in 1974. Under the Pol Pot regime, the high school was closed and used as an army warehouse. The teachers, staff, and students were forced to leave the city and live in undeveloped areas, where they greatly suffered from the killings perpetrated.

After the January 7, 1979, Vietnamese invasion, the government of the People's Republic of Kampuchea gradually reopened schools. The lycée was officially reopened on January 21, 1980, under the name of Phnom Daun Penh High School. School personnel requested the ministry of education to change the high school name to its original name of Lycée Preah Sisowath in 1993 to preserve this historic endowment.

In 1996, a Franco-Khmer section was reintroduced again at the Lycée Sisowath.


Lycée Sisowath occupies a four-hectare (9.9-acre) lot bordering Norodom Boulevard donated by King Sisowath in 1905. The school has eight buildings and one administration center which retains its original French-influenced appearance. There is one football field, two volleyball fields and three basketball fields.


There are three special classes (ថ្នាក់ពិសេស) are selected upon written tests: Khmer literature, mathematics and physics.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ Phann Ana and Kevin Doyle (2002-10-05). "Retired Ideals". The Cambodia Daily. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14.
  2. ^ Becker, Elizabeth (2003-07-03). "Khieu Ponnary, 83, First Wife Of Pol Pot, Cambodian Despot". The New York Times. She attended the elite Lycee Sisowath in Phnom Penh where in 1940 she became the first Cambodian woman to earn a baccalaureate degree.
  3. ^ Jean-Marie, Cambacérès (March 7, 2013). Sihanouk : le roi insubmersible (in French). Le Cherche midi. pp. 19–20. ISBN 9782749131443.

External linksEdit