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Director accused of selling school land

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
The entrance to the high school. Koh Santepheap

Nearly 60 Moung Russei High School teachers, students and staff members in Battambang province’s Moung Russei district yesterday accused their school director of trying to sell school land after he forbid students from entering the area.

Heng Puthear, a former Moung Russei student, said that teachers and staff members suspect that school director Lim Sophal is attempting to sell 3,200 square metres of school land after he stopped extracurricular activities.

Mr Puthea said that a petition was signed by teachers and students to have the school director admit his guilt.

He said that the suspicion came after the school director began disallowing students to clean and clear the area behind the school.

“The land is public property, it doesn’t belong to him. We need clarification to show evidence that the land belongs to the school,” he said. “Why won’t the director allow students to cultivate the land?”

The unused area of the school. Koh Santepheap

Mr Puthear said that if extracurricular activities are not reinstated, he will lead a protest of students and teachers asking the authorities to intervene.

Mot Mon, a Moung Russei High School teacher, said that only the director has the detailed history of the school land. He said that he heard that part of the school land was sold to a private buyer.

“If the information is true, we do not accept it,” he said. “I have taught for nearly 20 years and we are afraid of losing school land. Everyone should benefit from it, not just one person.”

School director Mr Sophal denied the accusations. He said that the true size of the high school is 27,300 square metres, adding that authorities reserved about 600 for a sidewalk.

“The land was never lost to anyone in the first place,” he said. “Parts of the land were kept for a sidewalk, but it’s still school land.”

He said that the reason why students aren’t allowed there is because the authorities came to measure the land. He said that students and teachers are welcomed to protest because he has enough evidence to back his story.

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