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Kampong Thom Teachers Blindsided by Salary Cuts

Teachers across Kampong Thom province have seen unexplained cuts to their bimonthly salaries over nearly half a year.

Hundreds of teachers have complained to the Association of Independent Teachers, saying provincial financial offices are behind their reduced salaries.

Cambodian teachers are greatly underpaid already and forced to coerce individual bribes from students to support their income, which in turn increases the burden of poor families to educate their children. Each year, just a small percentage of money budgeted for the Ministry of Education actually finds its way to schools, especially in the provinces.

"I cannot accept it," said Thai Thim, a researcher for the Association. "The cut affects the lives of the teachers living in remote areas in the provinces, because the salary is already so meager, and the office cuts it. It is not fair."