Phnom Penh’s private schools in crisis

There are more than 500 registered private schools in Phnom Penh, Ros Soveacha, secretary-general for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, told Khmer Times.

 

“The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport encourages private education providers, private education receivers and relevant stakeholders to continue negotiating appropriate solutions by understanding each other and realising the give-and-take strategies because all relevant entities are affected by Covid-19,” Soveacha told Khmer Times.

Zion International School in the capital’s Tuol Tom Poung commune, Chamkar Mon district undertook its second round of layoffs yesterday.

Khmer Times reached out to Philip White, its vice-director, for a comment upon hearing the news via WhatsApp with a message that read: “Phil. Working on a story about the state of English schools in Phnom Penh. Having heard that [a teacher] was laid off today, Zion will be in the article. This is your opportunity to answer questions and make a statement before it goes to print tomorrow.”

In response, he said: “Please do not include our school or mention our layoffs. It is private and confidential. Thank you.”

White warned that any publication of the layoffs would result in “repercussions”.

“We will take legal action against [the teacher] if our school is mentioned in the article as per her contract. We are also consulting lawyers regarding, you [and] the paper now. This would be a lot easier and better for all of you just leave us out and move on,” White said.

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