Teachers Accuse School Official of Pay Scam

Teachers in a Kandal province high school complained Sunday that the school’s director used their names to falsely collect extra overtime pay.

Two teachers at Tep Pranom High School in Kandal’s Ponhea Leu district said Praun Va, the school’s director, overstated the amount of overtime his teachers worked and skimmed the difference between the money provided and that owed to the teachers. The teachers said they work overtime to supplement their salaries.

“This kind of cheating makes us feel dispirited,” said a math teacher, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Praun Va denied the charge. “I have never done such a thing,” Praun Va said Sunday. “Some bad teachers want to defame me.”

He said the accusation was a reaction to his urging teachers who were not fulfilling their obligations to work harder.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teach­ers Association and a frequent critic of Cambodia’s education bureaucracy, said this kind of scam is common.

“The Ministry of Education does not crack down on such cheating, which disheartens teachers,” he said Sunday. “It can badly affect education.”

In 2001, the teachers union sent a letter to the ministry about a similar situation in two high schools in Kandal’s Sa’ang district, but the matter was never re­solved, Rong Chhun said.

He claimed some teachers are not receiving overtime pay they were owed at all, and said he would send a letter to the government asking that teachers receive their overtime pay for the last school year. The next school year begins after the Pchum Ben festival ends Sept 25.

Chhay Aun, director general of administration and finance at the Ministry of Education, said the ministry will investigate the Ponhea Leu case if it receives the complaint. A similar case in Ban­teay Meanchey province resulted in the school director being fired, he said Sunday.

Chhay Aun said the payment of overtime was delayed due to a lack of cash flow. The teachers will receive the money as it arrives in provincial treasury departments.


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