Overheard: Bribing Teachers


Overheard is our series of snippets/conversations that we have with other travelers and/or locals along the way.

It's one thing to bribe custom officials and pay off policemen, but quite another to bribe a teacher. We thought we'd seen it all when our minivan driver was stopped by some local cops looking for a payoff. In full sight of ten tourists, the cops gave him a legitimate smack on the head when he tried to negotiate a better deal. After giving them $5, he walked away, largely unscathed.

Then we heard the tale from another traveler of how public schools in Cambodia actually work. Evidently, even though schools are free, students have to bribe teachers to come to work. In return, teachers bribe principals to supply them classrooms, and principals bribe government officials to keep the school running.

In other words, if your family doesn't have money, you have no chance at even a public school education. Yikes.

More Cambodia

Interested in reading more about budget travel in Cambodia? Check out our Cambodia destination pages.

What Do You Think?

Let us know in the comments.