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Principal transfer sparks protest

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Students and teachers of Preah Sisowath High School stage a rally to protest the Ministry of Education’sdecision to transfer their school principal on Wednesday. Hong Menea

Principal transfer sparks protest

Hundreds of teachers and students from Preah Sisowath High School (Lycée Preah Sisowath) took to the streets on Wednesday to oppose the transfer of their school’s principal and to voice dissatisfaction over the New Generation School (NGS) programme.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport decided last week to reassign the school’s director, Mul Suyheng, to an administrative position within the ministry.

Speaking to The Post yesterday, ministry spokesman Dy Khamboly confirmed the transfer, noting that it is a common practice.

“We will transfer him to the general secondary education department under the education ministry. We usually carry out [the transfer] when there is a need for it,” Khamboly said.

Nob Savuth, a history teacher at the school since 1999, joined the rally since Wednesday morning. She expressed her objection to the principal’s reassignment.

“Usually, when [the ministry] wants to transfer someone, it is because they have made a mistake. They told us he did not make any mistake and that he is capable of assuming the principal’s role … therefore we wonder why they transferred him all of a sudden."

“If he is capable, let him stay. [The transfer] is not a promotion, it is a demotion and they framed him. He has never made any mistake or made the staff suffer during his tenure in the school,” she said.

A Preah Sisowath student, Sam Thary, shared the same sentiment, saying: “I think there is much unfairness [in the process]. Usually, in the ministries or institutions, such transfers would require participation and voting from staff members. This is a democratic country, so why don’t we act accordingly.”

Thary and the other participants at the rally voiced their displeasure over the hosting of NGS in their school. They expressed the belief that it creates a division, or what some called “discrimination”, among the students.

As of press time, Mol Suyheng could not be reached for comments pertaining to his transfer.

NGS is part of a government education reform programme – a new development track within the current education system that enables the creation of autonomous public schools.

“The ministry has established 10 NGS’ already. Among them, six are secondary level while the other four are primary schools."

During the interview with The Post yesterday, Khamboly also shared that there have been 50 students filing new complaints since the second announcement of the national examination results on Friday.

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