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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Critics decry education officials allowed to work past retirement age of 60

Critics decry education officials allowed to work past retirement age of 60

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090106_03.jpg

Cambodian Independent Teachers Association says that move is unfair to all academics, and that mandatory retirement should be scrapped

Photo by:

Heng chivoan

CITA President Rong Chhun shown at a demonstration in a file photo.

AT least 13 senior officials in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport have been allowed to work beyond mandatory retirement, according to critics who sent an anonymous complaint to the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA).

The letter, dated December 15, stated that officials at the director and deputy director levels were given permission to keep their jobs by former Education Ministry secretary of state and current Minister of Education Im Sethy, despite having reached the legally mandated retirement age of 60.

The CITA responded to the claims with a letter sent on Monday to Im Sethy, in which the organisation urged the government to enforce the retirement law.

"This decision [to suspend legal retirement] has made all of us who are professors, teachers and civil servants in other departments within the Education Ministry upset," the original letter stated.

"Some officials have reached retirement age, but they have not been forced to retire in accordance with the law. This is an injustice in the view of other professors and teachers."

Im Sethy could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Enforce law or discard

The letter added that if senior officials are allowed to continue working, then the government should discard the retirement law altogether.

CITA President Rong Chhun said he had confirmed that the information contained in the letter was true, adding that its author or authors refused to identify themselves because they were afraid of retribution.

"The letter is valid because it listed specific names of officials who have been allowed to keep working," Rong Chhun told the Post Tuesday.

"I have also heard about this from other teachers before the letter was sent," he added.

A new generation

"Postponing legal retirement age in order to continue working is not good because it prevents the younger generation from participating in state institutions," Rong Chhun said.

"Having new employees means that we will have new ideas in the ministry," he added.

Rong Chhun said that it was common for officials who reach their legal retirement age to want to keep their jobs in order to continue drawing pay.

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