About forty teachers from across the country protested at Phnom Penh’s National Institute of Education yesterday, asking to be reinstated after the Ministry of Education kicked them out of the institute for allegedly faking their applications.
The teachers, who deny forging documents, said they also filed an intervention request with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet on Sunday.
Forty-two teachers were told last week that they could no longer study at the NIE to be university teachers because they had applied as graduate students rather than teachers, said Uy Vuthy, 27, a secondary-school teacher from Kep province.
“We did not fake the documents,” Mr Vuthy said at yesterday’s protest. “We have the right to apply when we have the graduate certificate. Our certificate is as graduate students, so I applied for the examination with my graduate certificate.”
But Rath Huot, deputy director of the National Institute of Education, said the Ministry of Education had investigated and found that the forty-two students had faked documents to apply as graduate students.
“They applied in the wrong way,” Mr Huot said. “If they applied in the right way, it would not be a problem. They faked the documents. They are the teachers, so they should apply in the teacher group.”
In a letter dated Nov 5, the Ministry of Education informed the head of the NIE that the ministry had decided to remove 42 names from the school’s enrollment list for faking documents, according to a copy.
Secondary school teacher Sok Sophat, 24, said at yesterday’s protest that she also has a certificate as a graduate student.
“The reason that we applied as students is because we followed the old way, because previously some staff members applied as students and graduated with achievement and no problem,” Ms Sophat said. “The Education Ministry has never investigated these people.”
Mr Huot denied that the NIE had allowed secondary teachers to apply as students.