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Principal suspended amid graft allegations

The principal of Serey Sophorn High School in Banteay Meanchey province was accused of corruption by teachers at the school. Photo supplied
The principal of Serey Sophorn High School in Banteay Meanchey province was accused of corruption by teachers at the school. Photo supplied

Principal suspended amid graft allegations

The principal of Banteay Meanchey’s Serey Sophorn High School was suspended yesterday until an investigation into corruption allegations has been concluded.

A letter from provincial governor Suon Bava, dated December 26, temporarily suspended principal Nath Sivlay and called on the Department of Education to create a temporary management committee to investigate the case, which saw 40 teachers lodge a complaint alleging financial mismanagement at the end of November.

Sivlay yesterday said she had not received the letter yet. “The suspension is just … to investigate whether it is my mistake or the teachers’ mistake,” she said, adding that she had taken “two days off” and would be back at work today.

She went on to suggest bias was at the root of the complaint. “I will appeal to the prime minister to investigate who is right and who is wrong,” Sivlay said. “There is no gender equality in the province. I am the only school principal who is female.”

Norng Kunthea, an English teacher at the school, said that she heard about the suspension on Monday and was all in favour of it. “I want to see a new principal … [who] cares more about the school and the teachers,” she said. “I hope to see more transparency on how the budget is spent.”

Provincial governor Bava yesterday said he expects the Ministry of Education to make a final decision soon.

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