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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bribes breed cynicism in students

Bribes breed cynicism in students

A DISGRUNTLED student said: "Why study hard if $250 allows you to pass. Many

wealthy students consider this a very low price compared to their monthly living

expenses."

Seng Sokun, a 19-year-old student of Beng Trabek High School,

said: "There is no incentive to learn. We don't spend much time in the classroom

because often the teachers are absent, other times they cut classes short so

they can go off to their other jobs.

"The lessons are poor quality and

most teachers don't care about their students. I want to bribe someone to pass

my exams but I can't afford it."

"Most students don't worry about

studying, they are more interested in looking for ways to cheat to pass their

exams."

Another student, from a more wealthy background, said: "We often

skip class in groups of about 10 and go to the Keb Thmey health club by the

Mekong river. We rent out a cottage which only costs 2000 riels on

weekdays.

"During the day we swim, and we drink, smoke and play cards. We

have a lot of fun. The teachers don't seem to mind us skipping classes. It means

less work for them.

"Even though the Ministry of Education has sent out

a directive forbidding corruption I think the situation will remain the same as

in the past, every year the government sends out these warnings. I'm not too

worried about passing my exams."

However in contrast one student's

mother said: "I'm afraid the government is going to be so strict and fair that

my son will fail his examinations. He is not a very good student."

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