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08 July 2002


International donors have been holding talks with the government about the amount of aid to be given to Cambodia in the coming year. Many of the donations are supposed to be tied to reform measures, including increased democracy and the elimination of corruption. Despite the lack of progress in these areas the money keeps flooding in, sending a strong signal to the government that it can get away with whatever it wants. It seems that donors have budgets and have to give away a certain amount of money every year, no matter what! But there are small signs of change. We have always known that one of our schools was especially favoured and that many of the staff there teach only a handful of hours every week, leaving plenty of time free for lucrative private lessons. That looks set to change as around 80 teachers are to be removed from their posts and be sent out to teach in under-staffed schools in the provinces. No doubt those with good connections will be able to cling to their posts, but many will not. For them personally it is an unfortunate development, but for education as a whole it is one small step in the right direction.