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Students continue protests against teacher transfers

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
About 40 students continued their protest yesterday. Supplied

About 40 students continued protests yesterday over the decision to transfer two teachers from Bavel High School to the district education office in Battambang province’s Bavel district.

Nearly 100 students from three classes at the school protested outside the district office on Monday, seeking the reinstatement of two teachers transferred to the office after they destroyed school property to highlight corruption at the institute.

Neang Chamnap, a civics and ethics teacher, and Rat Sareth, a maths teacher, were dismissed from the school after they broke two concrete benches, cut trees on the school premises and broke the glass on an information board, acts they said were intended to protest school corruption, child torture, and malicious teaching schedules.

Theng Thavleap, a grade 12 student at the school, said yesterday that students continued their protests, this time at the provincial department, because the district office had been unable to reverse the decision made by the provincial education department.

“Forty-one of us came to the provincial department and two or three of our group were called into the office for a meeting.

“They told us that the decision could not be changed because the two teachers destroyed property,” she said.

She said the officers told them not to continue to protest because doing so would only exacerbate the situation and would cause more problems for Mr Chamnap and Mr Sareth.

Ms Thavleap said her group has not been to school for two days and is now considering taking their grievance to the Education Ministry.

Mr Chamnap admitted on Monday to destroying the property, but stuck to his claim that his actions were carried out only to highlight corruption at the school.

School director Ho Vuthy denied the allegations. Ngy Set, director of the provincial education department, said yesterday that the decision was made to help the two teachers correct their behaviour.

“You know what? They got drunk and they destroyed school property,” he said.

“These acts could have landed them in court but instead we took action internally to help them.

“This decision actually helps them to correct themselves and then they can apply to teach at the same school some years later if they perform their duties well,” he added.

Mr Set noted that if the teachers wanted to complain about irregularities at the school, they should have reported it to the provincial education department instead of destroying school property.

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