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Funds for students allegedly pocketed by school director

Funds for students allegedly pocketed by school director

Although the Ministry of Education was informed in August that a director of a secondary school in Kampong Thom province was allegedly pocketing money intended to help impoverished students remain in the classroom, it has yet to take any action in the case, a provincial education official said yesterday.

Kim Visoth, director of Kampong Thom’s department of education, said he filed a complaint against the director of Meas Kong Secondary School in the province’s Baray district in August. The complaint alleges that the school’s director, Yang Noeurn, was inflating the number of students and taking a cut of the scholarships given to children from impoverished families.

“The provincial department sent the report about the director of Meas Kong Secondary School to the ministry, but the ministry has not yet gone to the school to investigate,” Kim Visoth said.

Yang Noeurn remains the director of the school in Pongror commune. When the Post asked him about the allegations yesterday, the line went dead.

The report to the ministry alleges he kept 40,000 riel of each 180,000-riel scholarship given to 89 of the school’s roughly 500 students, Kim Visoth said. The investigation by provincial officials also alleges he invented an entire Grade 7 class to receive extra funding of about four million riel annually, he added.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Education referred questions to the director of the ministry’s personnel department. He also said he had no knowledge of the report, but said it was possible that ministry officials were studying it. Thong Boran, director of the personnel department, declined to answer questions about the allegations.

Sim Sin, deputy director of Taing Kok High School, said that he had videoed both teachers and students at Meas Kong Secondary School alleging that Yang Noeurn was corrupt.

“I recorded video interviews with poor students. They said that they received only 140,000 riel per year, which meant they lost 40,000 riel each.

Most students said there were three Grade 7 classes and the director inflated the number to four.  “I sent the video to the ministry,” Sim Sin said.  

Baray district has the second- highest ratio of students to classrooms in Kampong Thom, according to its provincial data book. There are 185 students for each secondary school classroom in the district, it says.

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