The government continues to have problems paying teachers’ salaries on time, as primary- and secondary-school teachers in Prey Veng and Preah Vihear provinces report they have yet to be paid for April.
Thousands of teachers in both provinces will have to wait until the end of next week before they will be paid, and officials are claiming the many national holidays in April and problems with filing the paperwork on time are responsible for the lengthy delay, Cambodian Independent Teacher Association President Rong Chhun said.
It is likely that the money has been lost in the system or used up by the officials assigned to pay the salaries, the union leader alleged.
“Lower officials used this money to pay for [other things] while waiting for their own income before they pay the teachers,” Mr Chhun said by telephone Sunday.
The teachers had expected to get paid before the Khmer New Year but will now have to wait until the end of May before they will see any money, he added.
Phat Sotheavy, a primary school teacher in Prey Veng’s Peamro district, said Sunday that she had been waiting for her salary for 54 days without luck. She added that she is having trouble paying bills and buying food for her family.
“We are hopeless with the government administration system to pay the teachers…and when we complain they call us the opposition supporters. But if we do not complain about our payment, they will not pay,” she said.
Preah Vihear provincial education department Director Hon Chorn estimated that about 1,300 teachers had not been paid for April and said the delay was caused by problems with the paperwork, which has to be filed with the Ministry of Education.
“It is a matter with the administration system for filling in the paper for their payment to the Ministry of Education…they will be paid this week,” he said adding that the government has enough money to pay what is owed.
No one at the education department in Prey Veng could be reached for comment Sunday.