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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Never mind boxing, corrupt education is the problem

Never mind boxing, corrupt education is the problem

Bribery and corruption in kick-boxing (PPPost, October 20) is no worse than it is

in the state education system.

In school, students must buy sweets and cakes from their teachers if they want to

get high scores or avoid their teachers' anger or curses. If the students do not

buy, they will face punishment.

Some teachers shamelessly demand money from students before they being teaching the

lesson because their salaries are low and they cannot support their families.

Some students who have not attended class for the regulation minimum number of days

in a year have to pay money to teachers and school administrators to be able to move

up to a higher class the following year.

Bribery and corruption in education has destroyed the morality and dignity of Cambodia's

teachers, and teaches the younger generation from their infancy that they must submit

to corruption and bribery if they want to survive.

Students show "respect" for their teachers not from their hearts but because

they are afraid for their scores.

Foreign universities that offer scholarships to Cambodian students always require

evidence of their scores and study records. Rich students pay school administrators

to write new records and thus get high scores for study records; poor students with

inadequate attendance records because they have had to help their families have no

chance to continue their study abroad, even if they have the capacity. Surely this

is unjust.

I would like to think that teachers have not wilfully descended into corruption,

but have been forced into this way of life by their empty stomachs.

Recently the government increased teachers' salaries, but they are still low. The

government is trying to discourage teachers from teaching their private classes during

state working hours, but the increased salaries still do not afford teachers an adequate

living standard, so inevitably corrupt practices continue.

I hope that eventually salaries in the education sector will be sufficiently improved

so that teachers will not need to sell sweets and cakes, or demand money from students

before beginning lessons, or sell students copies of the answers to monthly tests.

In kickboxing, if a boxer is corrupt and takes bribes and the spectators become aware

of it, they will hit him and shout curses at him and throw bottles at him.

I do not want to hear of corruption or bribery - in kickboxing or education

or any other sector - because bribery destroys the morality of humanity and teaches

people a culture of habitual corruption. This makes society unstable and full of

injustice and forces the people to sleep in a nightmare.

Heng Long, Phnom Penh



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