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Teachers press for missing bonuses

Teachers press for missing bonuses

Nearly 150 teachers across five districts in Kampot province have signed a petition demanding the government pay them monthly rural posting bonuses they say are now nine months in arrears.

Copies of the petition – signed by 138 teachers – were sent to the office of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Education last week, Ouk Chhayavy, acting president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, said yesterday.

“I sent the petition to the Ministry of Education . . . but we did not receive a response,” Chhayavy said.

“I think that the Ministry of Education is often late to pay rural bonuses and overtime to teachers; it is careless of the ministry.”

Hun Sen last year promised to double the bonuses teachers receive for working at schools in rural areas, from 40,000 riel ($10) to 80,000 riel ($20).

But teachers like Seng Sethya, who works in Kampot’s Banteay Meas district, say they have not been paid any bonus for months.

“I have taught at Koh Vang Primary School since 2005, and I always received the rural posting bonus each month,” Sethya said. “But since October, I have not received it; I don’t know why.”

Nob Sophal, Education Ministry chief in Banteay Meas, yesterday said he had not heard about the petition CITA sent on behalf of the teachers, but added that unpaid bonuses were due to a glitch in a new payment system.

“I want to tell teachers to calm down, and do not worry about their rural bonuses, because they will not be forgotten,” Sophal said.

“We reformed our payment system, and now pay them through bank accounts, so payments will be late.”

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