Parents Complain Over Fees Demanded For School Applications

The Cambodian Independent Teachers Association yesterday lodged a grievance with the Education Ministry on behalf of parents of primary school students allegedly forced to pay for secondary school applications in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district, officials said.

Parents claim that sixth grade students at Kdei Takoy and Veal Sbov primary schools have been charged 7,000 riel, or about $1.75, for recommendations when applying for further study, said CITA president Rong Chhun.

“I have just received a complaint from parents of the students requesting that CITA intervene with the Education Ministry,” Mr Chhun said, noting that he had forwarded this information to the ministry yesterday but had not yet had a response. “The schools have violated education law, because the Education Ministry does not charge students for application forms.”

CITA said in a statement that the fee represented a barrier to continued education.

“If students who pass the exam for secondary school do not pay the 7,000 riel fee for recommendations to accompany the application form, they will not be allowed to go to secondary school,” it said. The statement said that the school management also orders students to pay between 500 and 1,000 riel every month for electricity and water.

Theang Vanna, deputy director of Kien Svay district education office, said that his office planned to investigate a report also sent by parents of students at the two schools.

“We also received a report about this case and we are still finding out about it,” Mr Vanna said, referring further questions to the director, who could not be reached.

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