Teachers Lodge Complaint of Graft Against School Directors

Sixteen teachers from Svay Rieng province’s Hun Sen Krol Kor High School have submitted a complaint to the Anticorruption Unit, claiming that two senior school officials forged documents to steal about $17,500 from the school’s budget, the teachers said yesterday.

Uy Meak, a teacher claiming to represent more than 40 teachers at the high school, said school headmaster Touch Sotthea and her deputy Dy Thavy had stolen the money from the budget provided by the government between 2007 and 2010.

The complaint, which was submitted through the Cambodian Inde­pendent Teachers As­so­ciation, was delivered to the ACU and Education Ministry yesterday, Mr Meak said.

“Only the ACU can thoroughly investigate into the corrupt acts committed by these two ladies,” he said. “We are seeking for the pair to be prosecuted, not just removed from their posts, if they are found guilty of committing corruption.”

Ms Sotthea and Ms Thavy yesterday vigorously denied the allegations leveled at them, with Ms Thavy saying that the teachers making the complaints were in the minority.                         “We don’t know their motives for complaining. These few teachers are just exaggerating the facts while a lot of civil servants and other teachers in this school are fulfilling their jobs and supporting us,” she said.

Neither ACU Chairman Om Yen­tieng nor Education Minister Im Sothy could be reached yesterday.

Kong Saroeun, director of the Svay Rieng provincial education de­partment, said it was not the first time that corruption complaints had been lodged against Ms Sotthea and Ms Thavy. Last year, he said, the pair were made to pay a total of about $50 back to students after it was found they had overcharged for school fees. Mr Saroeun said the Education Ministry had finished its own investigation into the current corruption allegations, but had yet to release its results.

CITA President Rong Chhun said his organization had been aware of complaints against Ms Sotthea and Ms Thavy for several years. “Now it’s time that the ACU and Ministry of Education either punish them or bring them before the court,” Mr Chhun said.


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