TEACHERS in Prey Veng have lodged a complaint with the minister of education against the top education official in the province who they said has been skimming money from their salaries.
The teachers complained that since September, Him Sophal, the director of the province's Department of Education, has conspired with other officials in the department to siphon off state resources meant for teachers, including US$2.50 from their already bare-bones monthly salaries.
"They have not only been reducing our salary, but even the subsidies we're supposed to get for our families have been cut off," said Eng Tong Ney, a teacher in Preah Sdech district and the province's representative of the Kingdom's main teachers union, the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA). "And we have not received our salary for the past month," he added.
He said that when the teachers informed officials at the province's Department of Education, Youth and Sports, their complaint fell on deaf ears.
Busy being a monk
The administrator accused of heading the graft, Him Sophal, told the Post that he was not familiar with the allegations, saying that he has been occupied with his one-month foray as a monk at a nearby pagoda.
"When I leave the monkhood at the end of next week, I will research this case and try to find a good solution," he said.
The CITA stepped in on Tuesday, asking the Education Ministry to compensate teachers in the province.
Chey Chap, a secretary of state at the Education Ministry, would only say that "if the teachers have a real problem, they should contact us directly, and not through their union leader".