Dismissal of 2 School Administrators Sought

The Cambodia Independent Teachers’ Association on Sunday asked acting-Minister of Edu­cation Pok Than to fire two school administrators in Kom­pong Cham province for allegedly selling food assistance intended for students.

In a letter to the minister, the union accused Choun Chum, 53, headmaster of Phnom Del Pri­mary School, and his deputy, Meas Ry, 51, of selling World Food Program donations to vendors for personal profit. The letter was accompanied by a petition thumbprinted by 35 teachers from the Phnom Del school.

The donations, which included rice, canned fish and cooking oil, were intended as lunch for the primary school students of poverty-stricken Taing Kraing commune in Kompong Cham’s Ba­theay district, CITA President Rong Chhun said Sunday.

“But unfortunately those students did not get such food for eating because the school masters collected it at their houses to sell,” he alleged.

CITA also asked the Education Ministry to fine the two headmasters the cost of the food they allegedly sold, Rong Chhun said.

“Those school masters should be punished more, in order to warn other corrupt school masters and [Education] Ministry officials that they must change their corrupt attitude,” he said.

Maha Ahmed, program adviser at the World Food Program, said Sunday she had not seen the request from CITA.

She said WFP monitors are investigating reports of aid misuse at schools in Kompong Cham, but she could not say whether the Phnom Del Primary School was a new case.

Pok Than declined telephone requests for comment on the letter Sunday, saying he was outside the country and would address the matter upon his return.

Huot Nun, head of Kompong Cham’s Education Department, said he had not heard of corruption at the Phnom Del Primary School.

“I will investigate, and those officials will be punished strongly and removed from their positions if we find them guilty,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Porter Barron)

 

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