Teachers Call On Hun Sen to Punish Con Men

The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen Tuesday asking him again to punish con men who have asked temporary teachers for $700 in return for permanent positions, an association representative said Tuesday.

“Until now, there have been no educational officers that have paid money back to the teachers who were cheated,” wrote Rong Chhun, president of the teachers association.

Temporary teachers in provincial education centers are asked to pay bribes to secure their promotion to a full-time state teaching job, Hun Sen said in March. But those jobs are not available.

Rong Chhun added that parents hoping to buy their children permanent teaching positions have been known to sell their animals to raise enough money to bribe educational officers.

Although Hun Sen demanded last month that education officials should return the money to their rightful owners, he offered no ultimatum to those guilty of bribery.

“If Samdech only orders those educational officers to refund the money back to temporary teachers, [that] is not enough. Those officers who committed corruption should be punished according to the law,” Rong Chhun wrote.

Rong Chhun said he doubted that Hun Sen would want to seriously punish the educational officers, since he would not want to compromise his popularity ahead of the upcoming general elections.

Hout Noon, director of Kom­pong Cham’s provincial Depart­ment of Education said March 31 that education officials were returning bribes in response to a request from Hun Sen.

But Kompong Cham’s provincial governor, Cheang Am, said Tuesday that he did not know whether the officers had returned the money to its rightful owners.

“I also ordered those cheaters to refund the money…back to the teachers,” Cheang Am said. “Teachers who were cheated are not stupid; they will ask those cheaters to refund the money.”

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