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Vendors square off with school principal

Vendors square off with school principal

Vendors ousted from the grounds of Hun Sen Borey 100 Knorng Secondary School in Phnom Penh have accused the acting principal of corruption, including selling almost $2,000 worth of state property and forcing students to pay up to $100 to transfer to the institution.

The vendors yesterday filed a complaint to NGO the Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organization requesting intervention against Phork Phalbun.

Among the accusations were claims that he had sold school property and allowed his associates to build stalls for hundreds of dollars a head where ousted sellers once worked.

“The new sellers are teachers and their wives,” said Nget Chenda, one of five vendors to thumbprint the complaint. “Those teachers are so busy selling food that they pay less attention to teaching.”

Phalbun also allegedly gave permission for his nephew to run a photocopy machine and parking space at the school. Other students reported that he had taken fees of up to $40 to cover their absences.

However, teachers from the Sen Sok district school denied the allegations, calling the complaint an act of revenge.

Phalbun meanwhile said that vendors had been evicted to make space for a new building donated by Japan and that any sales of school property occurred before his tenure.

“Those accusations are un-true; [vendors] got furious and began to file complaints to district, municipal and ministry officials,” he said.

Chea Hean, director of the NGO, said he would send a letter to the Ministry of Education to request an investigation.

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