The Kampong Cham provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sports has prohibited teachers from tutoring extra classes outside regular state hours.

In a letter dated March 7, department director Ly Meng San informed all heads of the town and district education offices that the ban was based on complaints from students’ parents, who claimed that there were irregularities in teaching in the province’s schools.

“I request the head of education offices to disseminate this instruction to the management of all educational institutions immediately,” it said.

The department will take measures against teachers who flout the ban. Some teachers have allegedly threatened or pressured students into taking additional classes – at a cost of $30 to $50 per month – according to the letter.

Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post on March 10 that in general, the teaching of extra classes should not be illegal, although in the past the ministry had advised against it because it can have a detrimental effect on the health of teachers and students, and may reduce the effectiveness of regular classes.

“The education ministry does not prohibit the teaching of extra classes, provided they are agreed to by the school management and students. These classes are still subject to health measures and the ministry’s regulations,” he said.

Soveacha said those legal standards include the 2008 sub-decree on professional ethics for teachers and the 2005 proclamation on the elimination of collecting or fundraising from students in primary and secondary schools.

Soveacha added that the ministry did not ban teachers from teaching on Sundays or holidays. However, provincial education departments may issue bans if they are required to address specific issues.

He said in the case of an unwanted incident taking place in an educational institution, the management should take action and liaise with the education department.

“There are two levels of administrative measures: the first is usually a written warning and a promise to change. The second may include de-registering the teacher,” he said.