We only allow extortion to a point.
This pretty much sums up the state of Cambodian “free” public education:
Four primary school teachers have been reinstated after they were accused of taking too much money in ‘informal fees’ from pupils, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The director of Bak Touk primary school in Phnom Penh said the school had given its teachers permission to charge each pupil 500 riel (12 cents) per day, but claimed the suspended teachers regularly charged twice that amount.
‘I repeatedly warned them about taking (too much) money from students, but they didn’t listen,’ school director Yim Sokheng told the Cambodia Daily newspaper.
I’m really surprised to hear that teachers were punished for extortion at all, but glad to hear that there is at least some limit being placed on how much can be demanded of students. The teachers aren’t to blame though; their salaries are too low to support a family. Most charge a fee for students for daily attendance, to receive their grades, or for “extra” classes (in which crucial information for tests is taught), or they take a second job, resulting in frequent absences from school. Either way, the students are suffering.