School Head Suspended After Teaching Staff Files Complaint

A high school director in Banteay Meanchey province was temporarily removed from her position on Monday after a complaint filed by two-thirds of her teaching staff requested her replacement, according to officials.

Nath Sivlay, director of Serey Sophorn High School in Serey Sophorn City, was suspended pending an investigation into last month’s complaint, said Norng Vuthy, director of the provincial government’s human resources department.

He declined to specify what the grievances were, but said the investigation surrounded “conflict between the director and teachers.”

“Now, the Ministry of Education and the provincial government are conducting an inspection together,” he said, declining further comment.

Teacher Ren Vuthy, who was among those who signed the complaint, said Ms. Sivlay, who has run the school since 2007, had misappropriated ministry funds. He said that 45 of the school’s 67 teachers thumbprinted the complaint letter.

“She never provided us the money from the Education Ministry to spend on our classes,” he said. “We have kept calm for many years and gave her a chance to change, but she continued doing it all the same, so we don’t want her as our director anymore.”

Ms. Sivlay, however, said she had drawn the ire of her staff by strictly enforcing high teaching standards and denied she was involved in any corruption. She said she had filed defamation suits against all 45 signatories last week.

“They would take school time to teach private classes, take money and sell scores, teach without preparation and take days off without request. So I had to restrict it,” she said. “They are corrupt, and the provincial government and education department have inspected and found there was no corruption by me.”

Pao Sam Ang, director of the Education Ministry’s inspection department, said a report from the provincial education department had been received, but that he was not authorized to release the results until after a ministry review.

Provincial governor Suon Bavor, who signed the letter of suspension, declined to comment.

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