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Svay Rieng school head accused of fraud

TEACHERS at a high school in Svay Rieng province have lodged complaints with education officials against the school’s director, accusing her of corruption and nepotism and demanding that she be removed.

Sek Tikheayo, one of the teachers at Samdech Hun Sen Kraul Hor High School, located in Svay Chhrom district, said complaints against Touch Sothea had been lodged with the Education Ministry, as well as the provincial Department of Education on Monday.

He added that he believes the director is guilty of making false expense claims and pocketing the money, in addition to engaging in unfair hiring practices.

The complaint elaborates that the expenses claims in question were for a fence and clocks that allegedly were never purchased.

“She is immoral, and talks impolitely to us,” he added. “She is rude and has always oppressed us.”

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA), said he forwarded the complaint to Education Ministry officials on Wednesday.

He added that CITA suspected the director of committing corruption on a number of instances, and that officials had neglected to take action despite significant evidence.

“Their accusations are correct. The ministry should take action against her and punish her according to their disciplinary rules,” he said.

Touch Sothea could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Kong Saroeun, director of the provincial Department of Education, said Wednesday that he was trying to get teachers and the director to “stop arguing” and to “reach an agreement”.

“I tried to negotiate a compromise between the two parties after I received the complaint on Monday, but no agreement was reached,” he said. He added that one solution to the dispute could be to send the complainants “to teach in remote areas” rather than removing the school director.

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