Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pay teachers on time, officials told

Pay teachers on time, officials told

Teachers demanding higher wages protest in the capital earlier this month
Teachers demanding higher wages protest in the capital earlier this month. Vireak Mai

Pay teachers on time, officials told

Late payments that teachers have long criticised have caught the attention of Cambodia’s acting Minister of Education, who has instructed provincial education departments to get their acts together.

In a letter on Tuesday, acting minister Pin Chamnan told heads of education departments in each of the Kingdom’s 25 provinces that delayed payments of teachers’ bonuses and overtime work can severely impact their lives.

“The late payments affect most teachers’ livelihoods,” the letter reads.“The ministry urges all department directors to distribute wages on time for bonuses, and especially payments for extra sessions.”
Cambodia has about 110,000 teachers, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In Battambang schools, education department administrators already make an effort to pay bonuses and overtime on schedule, said provincial department director Ngy Set, who had not yet seen the acting minister’s letter.

But part of the problem is the department itself is often paid late by schools, therefore making it difficult for the department to pay the teachers’ bonuses and overtime fees in a timely manner, Set said.

“When payments are late, it is because the schools themselves are sending payments late, so as soon as we get it, we pay teachers,” Set said, adding that his department usually pays teachers on time. “As for salary, we try to pay them at the end of the month.”

But Pen Sophy, a teacher at Monivong High School in Battambang, said they typically are paid overtime and bonuses once every three months.

They often have to make an issue of it with the provincial education department before they receive their bonus and overtime pay.

Overtime only amounts to about $0.60 per hour, Sophy told the Post.

“The department pays us [bonuses and overtime] once every three months, and if we do not protest, we will not be paid,” Sophy said.

“It affects teachers’ livelihoods. Some teachers have to find other sources of income, but others do not and depend on payments for extra sessions they teach.”

The Ministry of Education’s interest in provincial school departments’ late payments is a step in the right direction, said Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association.

Teachers already earn low wages, Chhun said, so late payments for the extra hours they worked can be very problematic.

According to state data, most teachers earn between $135 and $216 per month.

“Teachers’ salaries are still low, and they depend on the money for teaching extra sessions,” Chhun said.

“If these payments are late, it seriously affects their livelihoods.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,