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Teachers at loggerheads with principal over funds

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The entrance of the Techo Sen Plak Samrong Primary School in Memot district of Tbong Khmum province. FACEBOOK

Teachers at loggerheads with principal over funds

Some of the teachers at Techo Sen Plak Samrong Primary School in Dar commune of Tbong Khmum province’s Memot district are insisting that provincial governor Cheam Chan Sophorn reassign principal Im Vutheany in order to end a long-running dispute.

They said the internal disputes between the school’s administrators and teachers and staff are negatively affecting student learning.

Sos Isa, deputy principal at the school, told The Post on December 6 that the dispute between the teachers and Vutheany dated back to 2017 with allegations that the principal was embezzling school support funds and from the scholarship fund for poor students.

He said the accusation had been reported to the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), who spoke with Vutheany and made her sign a contract promising to stop these irregularities.

“After a warning from the ACU, I saw an improvement in the working relationship between the teachers, the academic staff and the school administration. But a year later there was enmity again,” he said.

Isa said the conflict resumed after Vutheany regained control of the school’s funds and spent some of the money on personal expenses.

According to teachers, Vutheany used her power to intimidate teachers into signing false receipts to cover up her personal expenditures and sometimes bribed them with payments of 20,000 riel ($5) to do so.

Vutheany denies the allegations, but said she will abide by the provincial authorities’ decision.

“I did not do the things I’m accused of, but I acknowledge that my leadership here is of limited effectiveness now,” she said.

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