More than 1,000 teachers in Banteay Meanchey province received 356 million riel ($89,000) on Friday, a day after a group of 40 teachers protested to provincial authorities over delayed pay the teachers say they have been owed since December.
Chhoeuy Channa, a provincial education official, said Friday that high school and junior high school teachers received the money for overtime worked in October, November and December of last year.
Provincial teachers can work extra hours in rural areas, earning more pay by teaching at remote schools that do not have enough full-time teachers. Teachers do extra work for 16 hours a week at high schools and 18 hours a week at junior high schools.
Chhoeuy Channa, chief accountant of the province’s accounting planning office, said the teachers went unpaid until Friday because of “technical complications in accounting” and forms that were not submitted on time.
But Rong Chhun, head of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, said that corruption played a major role in the delay.
“If teachers pay pleasant tips to the accountants or education officials, the officials would work faster to release money,” he said.
Rong Chhun said some education officials use public funds to lend money in markets, pocketing the interest and then returning the money to government coffers.
One teacher in Takeo province, who asked not to be named, said he also blamed corruption for slow payments to teachers.
He said he has not been paid for his extra teaching time since January, and usually when he does receive his pay, 10 percent is deducted to pay the transportation expenses of education accountants.