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Parents balk at paying teacher bribes

More parents are moving their children from public to private schools because they are fed up with teachers collecting money from their children to supplement their public school salaries.

“My classmates and I have to give 1,000 riels each to my teacher everyday,” said 12-year-old Vachana, a student at Anuvath Primary School in Phnom Penh.

Vachana’s mother Marady, 34, is is sick of it and is planning to enroll her daughter in a private school.

“I know that a private school will cost a bit more than a public school, but at least I won’t have to give my daughter money for her teacher, and the quality of education at the private school will be better,” Marady told the Post on Monday.

“My husband and I would like to move my son to a private school,” said Chea Sokhean, 35, a beef seller at Deoum Kor market. “The first thing my son does after he gets up in the morning is ask for money for his teacher because he is afraid of him.”

One teacher commented that she is forced to take money from her students to supplement her low salary.

“I have been a teacher for 15 years, but I only get 150,000 riels a month. If the government doesn’t increase my salary to $200 per month, I will continue to collect money from my students,” said a Chhamroeun Phal Primary School teacher who did not want to be named.

ELT Elementary and Secondary School principal Darariddh Ek said that the number of students at his private school has increased 200 percent yealy and that many of the new students come from public schools.

“The principles of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport do not allow teachers to collect money from their students,” said Chek Lim, deputy director of the ministry’s youth department. “The ministry is currently trying to solve the problem by increasing teachers’ salaries and paying more for overtime work.”

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