Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Teachers to get wage hike



Teachers to get wage hike

Students at Wat Poh
Students at Wat Koh High School in Phnom Penh last year. Pha Lina

Teachers to get wage hike

Cambodia's lowest paid high-school and primary-school teachers will receive a $25 increase to their base monthly salary by the end of May, the government revealed on Monday.

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the raise at the opening of the National Literacy Campaign on Monday and reiterated his pledge to establish a base teacher salary of $250 by 2018.

“The salary system has not been prepared yet but it will happen soon and teachers' salaries will increased to at least 650,000 riel ($162) and our goal is at least 1 million riel by 2018 for the lowest grade teachers,” Hun Sen said.

Education Minister Hang Chhuon Naron confirmed after the premier's speech that the initial raise from $137 to $162 would come into effect by the end of May, adding that it had been agreed upon in September but only just publicly announced now.

“This is a policy that the prime minister announced to balance between investing in hard infrastructure and soft infrastructure including human resources. The increase in salary would be the priority and at the same time we have to balance with the infrastructure development,” he said.

“In the past the government paid more attention to investing in hard infrastructure…so right now the prime minister announced the policy of balancing that investment. So priority will be given to salary increase.”

The ruling Cambodian People's Party have made improving the education system a key pillar of their reform agenda - aimed at wooing back the voters that deserted them in droves at the 2013 election.

But the party has repeatedly come under fire for attempting to outlaw corrupt practices among teachers without addressing the underlying problem – their unsustainably low wages.

Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker and spokesman Yim Sovann said teachers needed the raise to $250 immediately because of the soaring cost of living expenses.

“The more the better. We support the policy because the cost of living is going up every day and the cvil servants can not afford the cost of life. But $162 is not enough,” he said.

Rong Chhun, president of the The Cambodian Independent Teachers' Association, said he was very happy to hear the Prime Minister's pledge but also stressed the amount would not cover basic living costs.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen should take measure of the price of goods increasing, not only the salary increasing. It’s a related problem. I think government has had the capacity to increase teachers' salaries but I don’t know why they just made it [the increase] now,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAVID BOYLE

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the current base salary for the lowest paid teachers is $125. The base wage is actually $137.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa