Rampant cheating at high school exams this year has forced the government to investigate the widespread practice of students paying their teachers for test answers, education officials said Wednesday.
"After the examination results are announced we will conduct a meeting with the chief of the education department and school directors around the country to find a way to stop teachers from taking money from their students and students from giving money to their teachers," said Chroeng Lim Sry, director of the high school department at the Ministry of Education.
Two teachers were fired this year for taking money in exchange for test answers, but most students interviewed during this year's exams said it was almost expected that they would pay for better scores.
Rong Chhun, head of the Cambodian Independent Teachers' Association, said that a large number of students would only pass their exams because they had cheated.
"The Ministry of Education should not allow students to cheat during exams. If teachers' salaries are not increased and they continue to take money from the students to let them cheat, Cambodia will have no strong human resources to develop this country," Rong Chhun said.
Sek Borisoth, director of the Anti-Corruption Program for Pact, agreed that widespread corruption in the examination room has interfered with the test scores and in the long-run is bound to lead to a lack of qualified graduates.
"This will cause a serious problem in the society because students who have certificates will be unable to find jobs because the certificates will not be valued by employers," he said.
"We want to increase teachers' wages to discourage them from taking bribes from the students in return for turning a blind eye to their cheating," Sek Borisoth said.
"Some teachers...are forced to take money from their students because their wages are so low."