Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boxes for donations, not bribes: minister

Boxes for donations, not bribes: minister

Boxes for donations, not bribes: minister

The minister of education proposed yesterday that donation boxes for teachers be installed in schools across the country, but stressed their aim would be to diminish rather than grow a culture of bribery in the system.

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron presented the idea for the “equity foundation boxes” during the capital’s first forum between teachers, parents and students at Hun Sen Bun Rany High School.

“[Donating] money to the equity foundation boxes has to be transparent. Students cannot think it should be used to buy [better] scores on [tests or in class],” Chuon Naron said. “Giving donations should be given voluntarily and not pressured.”

But some forum participants said the government should raise salaries rather than introduce a donation system.

According to a grade 12 teacher, low salaries were the cause of many problems in schools and must be increased.

“If teachers had a better living wage we would pay more attention to [better] teaching our students,” he said. “If Excellency [Chuon Naron] wants to strengthen the quality of education, he has to boost teacher salaries first,” he said.

The minimum wage for teachers increased in January from about $80 a month to $100, according to the Teachers Association of Cambodia.

Ros Sopheap, executive director of NGO Gender and Development for Cambodia, said yesterday that the amount of money that teachers were paid was “not in synch with reality”.

“How can the minister say education is a priority for this country when teachers are so undervalued by the system that they have to ask for bribes from their students to support themselves?” she said.

Phay Vanna, 45, barely makes do on his monthly salary of $160. To supplement his income, he teaches extra classes each month, he told the Post.

“If teachers’ salaries ranged from $250 to $500 we could survive. I don’t want to teach extra classes because it leaves no time to rest. We deserve a [liveable] salary, too,” he said.

The ministry announced this week that exam proctors would be paid twice as much as last year in an attempt to stamp out bribery.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AMELIA WOODSIDE

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all