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Corruption in the Classroom: The Dilemma of Public School Teachers in Cambodia Providing Private Tutoring to Their Own Students

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This paper investigates the practice of private supplementary tutoring (also known as ‘shadow education’) by public school teachers in Cambodia, a country with an education system plagued by corruption (Dawson, 2011). The paper begins by introducing the growing phenomenon of private tutoring (PT) in the broader context of Asia. It then turns to an overview of the problems of corruption in Cambodian public services more generally before focusing on corrupt practices specific to the education sector. Within this context the problem of public school teachers providing PT to their own students is introduced, followed by a discussion of the effects of this practice on teachers, students, educational content, and processes of teaching and learning. The paper then shifts to explore potential economic, socio-cultural and organizational factors that may cause teachers to engage in these corrupt practices. Finally, the paper discusses possible solutions, looking at regulatory policies for PT in other Asian countries and attempts at addressing the problem of corrupt PT in Cambodia itself. The paper argues that a combination of advocacy and awareness raising of corruption at the system level, regulation of PT, and reforms to the education sector to increase quality and equity are potential solutions to this challenging problem.
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Corruption in the Classroom: The Dilemma of Public School
Teachers in Cambodia Providing Private Tutoring to Their Own
Students
Christopher D. Hammond
Abstract: This paper investigates the practice of private supplementary tutoring (also known as
‘shadow education’) by public school teachers in Cambodia, a country with an education system
plagued by corruption (Dawson, 2011). The paper begins by introducing the growing
phenomenon of private tutoring (PT) in the broader context of Asia. It then turns to an overview
of the problems of corruption in Cambodian public services more generally before focusing on
corrupt practices specific to the education sector. Within this context the problem of public
school teachers providing PT to their own students is introduced, followed by a discussion of
the effects of this practice on teachers, students, educational content, and processes of teaching
and learning. The paper then shifts to explore potential economic, socio-cultural and
organizational factors that may cause teachers to engage in these corrupt practices. Finally, the
paper discusses possible solutions, looking at regulatory policies for PT in other Asian countries
and attempts at addressing the problem of corrupt PT in Cambodia itself. The paper argues that
a combination of advocacy and awareness raising of corruption at the system level, regulation
of PT, and reforms to the education sector to increase quality and equity are potential solutions
to this challenging problem.
Keywords: Private tutoring, shadow education, corruption, education planning,
Cambodia
1. Introduction
1.1 The prevalence of private tutoring in Asia
The practice of private tutoring (PT) is commonplace in many Asian societies and has been expanding
rapidly both within Asia and beyond in recent years. PT has been defined as “tutoring in academic subjects
which is provided … for financial gain and which is additional to the provision by mainstream schooling”
(Bray & Kwok, 2003, p. 612). PT has garnered the term shadow education’ because its content and
prevalence in societies tends to mimic patterns in mainstream education systems. As mainstream education
changes in content or expands in provision, so too does PT (Bray & Lykins, 2012). Instead of operating
alongside the mainstream in symbiosis, however, shadow education has been described by Dawson as a
‘parasitic’ system that “absorbs unmet demand for schooling and feeds off the insecurity of parents and
students who lose faith in formal education systems” (2010, p. 15).
Debates abound as to why PT is more common in some parts of the world compared to others. A number
of scholars have argued that the influence of Confucianism explains why PT has been become so
widespread in the cultures of East and Southeast Asia (see Bray & Lykins, 2012, p. 25). Social harmony
in Confucian systems is based on the universal acceptance of social and institutional hierarchies, and
chances for upward mobility within these hierarchies are frequently mediated by exam competition
(Marginson, 2011). High-stakes examinations at key stages of formal schooling thus provide a mechanism
for social sorting, with the outcomes of these exams often deciding the life courses of students. As such,
many households who can afford it feel compelled to augment their children’s chances for success with
PT. According to Mehl (2005), this relationship between PT and exam preparation in East Asia can be
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traced back 800 years (cited in Dawson, 2010, p. 15). PT has a long historical legacy in the region, but the
practice has dramatically expanded in recent decades. For example, today nearly 90% of South Korean
elementary students receive some sort of shadow education. In Hong Kong, about 85% of senior secondary
students do. Japan sees only 16% of elementary students take part in PT, but this number steadily rises to
63% by junior secondary school (Bray & Lykins, 2012). Equally striking are the costs of PT incurred by
private households. In South Korea, household expenditures are roughly equivalent to 80% of the
government’s total expenditure on public education (ibid.).
For a number of countries in Asia that fall outside of this ‘Confucian zone’, the recent prevalence of PT
has been attributed to the emergence of democracies and market economies in the post-Soviet era. While
instances of PT did exist in the former Soviet Union, these were downplayed by authorities who wished
to preserve an image of an egalitarian education system (ibid.). However, with the growth of market
capitalism after the fall of the USSR, so too has there been an increase in both supply and demand for PT
in the region. South Asian cultures, by contrast, tend to have more in common with societies in East and
Southeast Asia, with engrained traditions of PT being passed down for generations (ibid.). Given the
magnitude of this phenomenon across Asia, the subject of PT and its social effects warrants attention from
policymakers and education researchers.
While traditions and rationales for shadow education are undoubtedly bound up with culture and context,
the presence of PT in a given society presents a number of universal dilemmas for education policymakers.
The first has to do with the disruption of what are, at least in principle, public education systems intended
to provide equal access and opportunity for all members of society. The public good nature of these
egalitarian systems thus becomes weakened when PT offers improved chances for social mobility only to
those who can afford to pay for it. The ubiquity of PT in many Asian societies also raises questions about
the perceived quality of public education systems in these countries. Many who have looked to the
successes of East Asian countries in international standardized tests such as PISA and TIMSS have tended
to focus on (and borrow from) policies for mainstream schooling while neglecting the reality and potential
effects of the PT industry in these countries.
Another set of complex problems present themselves when PT is provided by teachers to their own
students. In a number of societies (such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) this practice is regarded as a
form of corruption and is prohibited, while in others it is subject to varying degrees of regulation. Problems
arise in particular when teachers deliberately refrain from teaching key elements of a given curriculum
during regular school hours to encourage students to pay to learn the knowledge withheld from them
through afterschool PT provision. In countries where this practice does occur it can contribute to a number
of detrimental effects on students, teachers, and school systems. This paper looks at the case of Cambodia,
a country where this corrupt form of PT is widespread and is embedded within a public-sector system
plagued by corruption at all levels.
1.2 An overview of corruption in Cambodia
Corruption is a serious problem in Cambodia. According to the anti-corruption NGO Transparency
International,
“Corruption permeates every aspect of the Cambodian social fabric; the elite has monopolised
procurement, land concessions and access to resources through the establishment of patron - client
networks. A kleptocratic bureaucracy thrives on red tape, while the population is disillusioned with
governance institutions” (Transparency International, 2014, p. 1).
In 2016, Cambodia was one of the lowest-ranked countries (156 out of 175) in the Corruption Perceptions
Index, and was perceived to be the most corrupt country in the Association of South East Asian Nations
(ASEAN) (ibid.). Arguably the most significant arena where corrupt practices occur is in the realm of
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politics, where rigged elections and the abuse of public office for private gain is commonplace. Connected
to politics is the government bureaucracy, where corruption is also rife. Paying bribes is often essential to
gain access to basic public services such as permits, licenses, health care, academic records, and birth and
marriage certificates (ibid, p. 4). The problem extends into the business sector as well, with Cambodia
rated as one of the most difficult countries in the world in which to start a business due to the excessive
red-tape and bribery that go hand-in-hand with investing in the country (ibid, p. 5). Corruption can also
be found in the country’s judiciary system, its police force, and natural resource management and public
financial management systems (ibid.). In addition to these and other arenas of corruption, a significant
segment of the Cambodian public sector plagued by corruption is the education system. According to
Dawson (2011), the education sector accounts for 55% of total corruption in Cambodian public services,
costing an estimated $37 million per year.
2. The context: the hierarchy of corruption in the Cambodian education system
The education system in Cambodia has been slowly rebuilding itself since its virtual destruction during
the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s which saw the execution of 75% of teachers and intellectuals
(Dawson, 2011). After a ten-year occupation by the Vietnamese (1979-1989), UN involvement in 1992
set the stage for a number of aid agencies to contribute to sector improvements (Dawson, 2010). As the
Cambodian government has yet to establish an adequate system of taxation, the education sector is still
highly dependent on foreign aid. Even with these contributions, as of 2010, teacher salaries in Cambodia
were approximately US$44 per month, considered to be 1.8 times the poverty level at that time (ibid.).
Low salaries were a frequently cited reason teachers gave for ‘forcing’ their own public school students
to pay for PT (ibid, p. 20). However, these corrupt practices are situated in a broader hierarchy of
corruption. Students and families paying their own teachers for supplementary lessons constitutes the
lowest level of the hierarchy. In addition to PT, families often must pay extra fees for arbitrary expenses
like bicycle parking, exam fees and worksheets. Above this level, however, teachers themselves are often
forced to pay ‘facilitation fees’ to their schools in order to receive their salaries. A similar practice occurs
at the next level, where 64% of school directors must pay fees to district offices to receive funding to
operate their schools (ibid.). At the top of the pyramid are a range of administrative and political officials
who siphon funds for education off before they even reach the districts. Figure 1 below depicts this
hierarchy.
Figure 1: The hierarchy of corruption: the ‘trickle up’ system of bribery
Source: Dawson, 2011.
Funds for educational institutions siphoned off
at the administrative and political level by
corrupt administrators, public officials and
politicians before they reach the districts
64% of school directors pay facilitation fees to
District Education Offices to receive funds
3 out of 4 teachers must pay ‘facilitation fees’
to receive their salaries (2% of base salary)
Students/families pay for private tutoring and
other fees for “free” public education (e.g. exam
questions, worksheets, bicylce parking, etc.)
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2.1 Corrupt practices in Cambodian schools
Many schools in Cambodia operate in patterns of two-shift or three-shift teaching, in which different
groups of students receive schooling at different times during the day. As a result, 50% of teachers in
Dawson’s 2010 study indicated they did not have enough time to cover the entirety of the curriculum
required by the Ministry of Education (Dawson, 2010). Both teachers and parents surveyed in the study
described how low teacher salaries and inadequate classroom time were the two main reasons for the
provision of PT. According to Dawson (2010):
“Teachers and parents practiced a de facto taxation system whereby many teachers described
charging students according to income level and parents negotiating the private tutoring fees. The
practices indicated the degree to which lack of institutionalization of government and education
were forcing civil servants and private citizens to create their own forms of rent-seeking which
included a myriad of other “unofficial school fees” created by teachers and school directors to pad
their paltry salaries” (p. 20).
Within this ‘de facto taxation system’ a number of corrupt practices can be found. While teachers reported
insufficient time to cover the curriculum, studies have shown that some teachers consciously slow down
the pace of delivery of curricula in order to ensure they have a market for PT (Chapman & Bray, 1999).
Remuneration for PT provision by students as young as 6 years old tended to take the form of a daily ritual
of small payments to teachers. In addition to forcing students to pay for education that should be provided
within the framework of the public system, a number of other fees and bribes were often required of
students. These include payments to receive attendance booklets, purchasing passing or higher grades,
buying exams in advance, buying the right to cheat on an exam, or even skipping a grade (Dawson, 2011).
Some teachers explained they do not require these payments of all students, however. According to
teachers in Dawson’s survey, the poorest students are often exempt from making many payments and
some are even allowed to take part in PT free of charge (ibid.). Here the notion of a de facto taxation
system becomes evident. Some quotes from teachers interviewed in Dawson’s study puts a more human
face on the experiences of teachers engaging in corrupt PT provision:
- “We do not charge them (the poorer students) in private tutoring class because we understand
their poor situation and we are also poor.”
- “I have private tutoring because I am poor and the salary provided by the government is too
low to support my family” (Dawson, 2011, p. 19)
Despite these claims from teachers, Brehm and Silova argue that poor students in Cambodia are in fact
largely excluded from access to PT and therefore are unable to receive the entirety of the national
curriculum needed to progress to secondary school (2014). Based on the findings from their 2014 study
(discussed in more detail below), they conclude that the melding of public education and PT creates an
educational arrangement that disadvantages the poor and stratifies Cambodian society along socio-
economic lines (ibid.).
3. The effects of corrupt private tutoring
In addition to these broader societal impacts, the practice of corrupt PT can have a range of detrimental
effects at the micro-level on all actors involved in the education system. For young students, daily
exposure to corrupt practices can negatively impact on the formation of values during an impressionistic
stage of their lives. PT can also lead to lack of interest in school, increased absenteeism and a ‘culture of
dependency’ on PT (Ehrmann, Margontier-Haynes, Pier, & Hammond, 2015). For teachers, the existence
of the PT system impacts their approach and the amount of effort put in to teaching in public school
classrooms. In order to create the demand for PT necessary to supplement their incomes, they may make
less effort to cover required curriculum and ensure every student is adequately prepared. The financial
need to work after regular school hours can also lead to fatigue from overwork (ibid.).
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Educational contents and processes of teaching and learning in public school classrooms also can suffer
in this system. The PT-style of teaching may tend towards a cramming-style curriculum and a focus on
passing exams (ibid.). Classroom dynamics can be affected when PT becomes more important than
creating a synergistic classroom experience, and the separation of those who can afford PT from those
who can’t furthers the reification of social inequalities and disparities in classrooms (ibid.).
4. Potential causes of corrupt private tutoring
As mentioned above, the two primary reasons given for the existence of the PT system in Cambodia was
low teacher salaries and insufficient time during the regular school day to cover the entirety of the national
curriculum. However, examination of the practice of corrupt PT within its broader historical, cultural and
socio-economic contexts reveals a more complex picture. According to Brehm and Silova,
“theorizing private tutoring in the Cambodian context requires situating the study in post-colonial,
post-conflict histories and their persisting legacies (such as hierarchy, patronage, and bribery),
unpacking the contradictions between international influences (such as a rights-based discourses)
and national practices (such as political oppression and assassinations), as well as examining the
political economy of the country in relation to the global economy. A combination of these factors
yields a more nuanced understanding and a more complete explanation of the nature and
implications of private tutoring, while revealing an educational arrangement – that is, the public-
private financing of education – formulated in the 1990s (see for example, Government of
Cambodia, 1994, p. 109) that obscures the boundaries between public schooling and private
tutoring in Cambodia(Brehm & Silova, 2014, p. 96).
Brehm and Silova argue that the Cambodian case of widespread PT provision is not a form a ‘shadow
education’ that exists alongside the public education system in a supplementary fashion, but has in fact
become so engrained and intermixed with public education that the distinction between the two has
blurred.
In the past, inadequate, irregular or delayed salaries for teachers have been a major problem and an impetus
for engaging in PT. These economic concerns where the most vocalized in studies conducted with
Cambodian teachers (Dawson 2010; 2011). At the time of Dawson’s study the average teacher salary
stood at $44 per month (Dawson, 2010). Teachers reported that on average they could make $61 per month
doing PT (ibid.). In recent years, however, the Cambodian government has been trying to address the
problem of low pay by raising teachers’ salaries. In 2015, the government increased salaries on average
to approximately $162 per month, with the intended goal of raising it to $250 by 2018 (Oudom, 2015).
These improvements in pay may serve to reduce the economic need for teachers to engage in PT in
addition to their regular jobs.
In addition to economic factors, however, a number of societal and cultural factors may serve as causal
mechanisms that prompt teachers to engage in PT. A number of parents and teachers in Dawson’s study
argued that considerations about the children’s safety justified paying teachers to teach and take care of
their children as opposed to leaving them unsupervised for part of the day. These concerns are warranted,
as in many cases both parents must work and because Cambodia remains a country in which child
prostitution and industrial exploitation are serious problems (Dawson, 2011). In addition to physical and
sexual violence, there is also a high incidence of traffic deaths in the larger cities (ibid.). In part due to
these concerns, many parents would prefer to leave their children with their own teacher, and do not mind
paying to do so. Thus, simply raising teacher salaries may not be enough to completely halt current
practices. From a cultural perspective, traditions of gift giving, the persistence of patron-client
relationships, weak norms of meritocracy and a general sense of solidarity with teachers may be other
factors that contribute to the persistence of PT (Ehrmann et al., 2015).
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Organizational factors that constitute the Cambodian education system may also make it difficult to
monitor and prevent the occurrence of corruption in schools. Lack of transparent regulations and criteria
regarding what constitutes corrupt practices is one such factor. As of 2014, regulation of PT in Cambodia
was limited to a policy of ‘discouragement’ (Bray & Kwo, 2014). Discouragement entails the practice of
PT is governed by codes of ethics rather than official regulations, with signals that teachers should not
engage in PT (ibid., p. 45). The government’s adoption of the normative position that PT is inappropriate
rather than prohibited may in part be due to the tacit understanding that government salaries for teachers
were far too low.
Other organizational considerations include lack of infrastructure, which makes accessing many rural
schools to monitor them difficult, and thus less outside control (such as school inspections) is possible.
According to the World Bank’s 2011 Systems Approach For Better Education Results (SABER) Report
on Cambodian education, a number of areas for improvements to the education system were identified.
While many metrics that were assessed were awarded with scores such as ‘emerging’ or ‘established’,
others were described as ‘latent’. Those in the latent category included a lack of useful guidance on the
use of teacher’s working time, working conditions not deemed ‘appealing’ for talented applicants, an
inadequate system of teacher preparation and training, and a lack of systems to hold teachers accountable
for poor performance (World Bank, 2011).
5. Regulatory policies in other Asian countries
While education policy borrowing is rarely a simple and straightforward process due to the complexities
of context and influences of culture, looking to countries that have implemented successful policies to
curb corrupt practices of PT may be constructive. The following section takes a brief look at a number of
approaches found in different Asian countries.
In countries like Japan, South Korea, Bhutan, parts of China and parts of India, teachers are prohibited by
law from providing PT to their own students. These laws exist elsewhere as well, such as in Myanmar,
but overall the law is ignored (Bray & Lykins, 2012). In these instances, it depends not only on whether a
law is in place but whether or not it can be enforced. As such, infrastructure and systems of monitoring
and prosecution must also be in place. In other parts of China, as with Cambodia, the practice of teachers
providing PT is simply discouraged. Other countries practice a ‘permission if approved’ model where
authorization to provide PT may be granted by wider authorities pending a range of conditions. These
countries include Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Vietnam (ibid.).
Options for regulation of PT in Cambodia thus include prohibition, discouragement, and “permission if
approved”. Discouragement has clearly not worked in the Cambodian case and prohibition may be
difficult to enforce, especially without access to remote schools and adequate systems for monitoring. The
“permission if approved” approach seems like a dangerous route considering the overall culture of
corruption in Cambodian public services, and one that would be conducive to bribes being paid to
authorities who could ‘permit’ the practice of PT. In addition to regulatory policies, then, it is important
to look to other potential solutions to curb corrupt practices.
6. Conclusion: Possible solutions to ending corrupt practices in Cambodian education
One approach that can be taken alongside regulatory reform is government and civil society advocacy and
the provision of information to the Cambodian public. Some activities in this realm are already being
implemented in Cambodia, including the participation in advocacy campaigns taking place at the global
level. For example, December 9th has been designated International Anti-Corruption Day, and October 5th
World Teachers Day (Ehrmann, et al., 2015). PR campaigns on these types of days can be utilized by
various groups to raise public awareness of issues facing teachers and to help rally support to end
corruption. In addition to these campaigns, Cambodia has worked to strengthen its own stance in
opposition to corruption. Cambodia ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in
September 2007 and instituted its own national law on anti-corruption in April 2010 (ibid.).
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In addition to raising awareness of the specific issue of corruption, government actors, NGOs and other
advocacy groups can pressure policymakers to increase education budgets so to help thwart the economic
demand for PT. As mentioned above, the governments decision to substantially raise teacher salaries
should help reduce this demand. In addition, in June 2014 there has been a push to switch to transition to
the payment of salaries to a banking system to reduce the problem of “facilitation fees” that many teachers
have been forced to pay (ibid.).
International aid agencies can contribute to solving the problem as well. While global initiatives such as
Universal Primary Education (UPE) and the United Nations Millennium Declaration have helped fund
the expansion of access to schooling in the developing world, this has often occured at the expense of
quality (UNESCO, 2004). In the Cambodian case this expansion coupled with a lack of quality assurance
has helped create a demand for PT. The Education for All (EFA) initiative has an emphasis on improving
quality and well as quantity (access), which is described in UNESCOs EFA Global Monitoring Report as
including establishing dialogue with teachers, strengthening accountability and combating corruption
(ibid., p. 23). Key laws and policies targeting education quality and equity, focusing on pedagogy and
curriculum interventions as well as teacher management and development may be beneficial in improving
the overall efficacy of the public school system, thus further reducing the need for PT.
In addition to these approaches, a number of managerial and institutional strategies that could be
implemented at the school level may prove useful. These include establishing clear procedures and
responsibilities for school staff, maintaining proper records, implementing policies for effective
supervision, training to detect warning signals of corrupt practices, providing channels for enquiries and
complaints, and publicizing a system of penalties for non-compliance (Hallak & Poisson, 2007, p 275).
While problematic, the presence of PT in societies operating on the principles of market capitalism are
unlikely to disappear. According to Bray and Lykins, “once shadow education structures and habits
become entrenched, they are very difficult to change” (2012, p. 72). The challenge then may not be to
completely eradicate PT from societies but to find ways to emphasize the positive aspects of PT while
limiting the negative ones (ibid.). A number of countries have thus sought to regulate the PT sector in
various ways or prohibit corrupt forms of the practice. The case of Cambodia presents a complex set of
challenges that include economic, socio-cultural, and historical factors that may make resolving the issue
of corruption in public services and the education system especially difficult. However, a number of
reforms have been taking place in recent years that should have positive effects. Raising public awareness
through advocacy and information, instituting more strict regulations and improving teacher salaries are a
few of the approaches that have been tried. As awareness of the problems caused by corruption increases,
public perceptions may slowly shift and people may become less tolerant of these practices in the broader
system of Cambodian public institutions. As improvements to the quality and equity of public schools
increase, the demand for corrupt forms of PT should steadily decline.
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... First, it is said that tutored students advance their non-tutored peers in the tests or examinations since teachers intend to emphasize those exercises during PT classes in order to attract students to take PT. Surely, this leads to care-free behaviour in the official school hours, especially for those who can afford PT (Bray, 2013;Hammond, 2018). Additionally, teachers usually teach what will be taught in the public school ahead and only tutored students are called to engage in problem-solving during the lesson at public schools, so they look smarter than their peers who cannot afford for PT (Bray et al., 2018: Bray, Liu, Zhang, & Kobakhidze, 2019. ...
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Article
Offering private tutoring (PT) to their students is legal in Cambodia. However, teachers are banned from engaging in PT during official hours and holidays. Literature has proven common root causes across contexts such as low salaries, class size, insufficient instructional times and high-stakes examinations. With a new attempt, this narrative paper aims to discuss PT and its effects from the different stakeholders' perspectives and to reflect PT functions towards mainstream education. On the one hand, symbiosis generates a 'dependency system,' divided into two relationships such as 'commensalism' between PT and the mainstream system, and 'mutualism' between supply and demand-side including the mainstream system. On the other hand, parasitism (professional misconduct) exists owing to policy implementers' laissez-faire approach in exercising the approved codes of conduct. Hence, the parasitism remains in the public classrooms owing to the lack of accountability and monitoring system of the in-charge stakeholders. Its presence enlarges the capacity of the dependency system to cast a shadow over the incomplete shape and size of the mainstream system. Thus, it should be alerted that when it is oversized, this symbiotic function may downplay the mainstream system and moves it away from the core attention of the demand side.
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The international construction of a new political economic order in Cambodia has had contradictory e􏰀ects on education. The rhetoric of democracy thrives along- side corruption and human rights abuses, the Education for All initiative exists alongside privatization of public education, and many international education de- velopment e􏰀orts perpetuate (post)colonial legacies. In this context, private tutor- ing has emerged as an essential part of the public education system. A mastery of the required curriculum is now possible only through a careful combination of public schooling and private tutoring. Only those who can a􏰀ord private tutoring thus receive access to a complete national education and have greater opportuni- ties to successfully graduate from public school. Drawing on a preliminary anal- ysis of qualitative and quantitative data, including 26 classroom observations, six focus groups with a total of 37 participants, grade tracking of 36 students, and informal interviews with 10 participants, this article examines the nature, scope, and equity implications of private tutoring in Cambodia. The article concludes by explaining how a seamless combination of public schooling and private tutoring creates an educational arrangement that continues to stratify Cambodian youth along socioeconomic lines.
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This chapter focuses on higher education in systems influenced by Confucian educational traditions: China, Hong Kong China, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Korea. Though there are many differences between these countries there is convergence in system design in higher education. Apart from Vietnam, the modern Confucian systems exhibited a marked dynamism in development that is still playing out everywhere except Japan. They constitute a distinctive model on the world scale, more effective in some respects than systems in North America, the English-speaking world and Europe. The Confucian Model rests on four interdependent elements: (1) strong nation-state shaping of structures, funding and priorities; (2) a tendency to universal tertiary participation, partly financed by growing levels of household funding of tuition, sustained by a private duty to invest in education grounded in Confucian values; (3) “one chance” national examinations that mediate social competition and university hierarchy and focus family commitments to education; (4) accelerated public investment in research and ‘world-class’ universities. The Model has downsides in that it tends to foster social inequities and state interference in executive autonomy and academic creativity. But together with economic growth amid low tax regimes, the Confucian Model enables these systems to move forward rapidly and simultaneously on all of mass tertiary participation, university quality, research quantity and quality, and the creation of ‘world-class’ universities.
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Rigged calls for tender, embezzlement of funds, illegal registration fees, academic fraud - there is no lack of empirical data illustrating the diverse forms that corruption can take in the education sector. Surveys suggest that fund leakage from education ministries to schools can be huge bribes and payoffs in teacher recruitment and promotion lower the quality of the pool of teachersand illegal payments for school entrance contribute to low enrolment and high drop-out rates. This book presents conclusions drawn from IIEP's research into ethics and corruption in education. It aims to build awareness among decision-makers and education managers of the importance of combating corruption, to provide them with tools to detect and assess corruption problems, and to guide them in formulating strategies to curb malpractices. After defining the key concepts of corruption, transparency, accountability and ethics, it identifies the main opportunities for corruption in education. It describes tools that can be used to assess corruption problems - such as perception and tracking surveys. Lessons are drawn from strategies used worldwide to improve transparency and accountability in educational management. The authors bring these together in a list of recommendations for policy-makers and educational managers. They argue that transparent regulatory systems, greater accountability through strengthened management capacity, and enhanced ownership of the management process can help build corruption-free education systems.
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This paper examines private tutoring systems in three East Asian countries (Japan, South Korea, and Cambodia) with the purpose of examining the relationship between those systems and formal education systems. The study of private tutoring systems in each nation can be used to reveal the inadequacies of the formal education system in meeting the ideal of equal opportunity of education in relation to high-stakes examinations. In each nation, the private tutoring system functions as a “shadow education market” to absorb unmet demand for additional education in a parasitic relationship with the formal system. Governments have enacted various policies to respond to the growing private tutoring systems which have proven largely ineffective and often led to further expansion. Pedagogical and curricular practices in the private tutoring systems have functioned to increase “anxiety” and “insecurity” in regard to the formal education system with the purpose of expanding the market. Studies of mass schooling systems and equal opportunity are incomplete without due consideration toward the role of the private tutoring system. Efforts toward education policy-making and reform to further the ideal of equal opportunity of education must be informed by such research on private tutoring. KeywordsPrivate tutoring-Shadow education-Education market-Examinations-Equal opportunity of education
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Despite the fact that in some parts of the world private supplementary tutoring is a huge industry with far-reaching economic, social and educational implications, the topic has been neglected by educational researchers. This paper focuses on the nature and determinants of demand for private supplementary tutoring. It first draws on literature from a wide range of countries to identify some conceptual considerations, and then presents data on socio-economic patterns of demand for tutoring in Hong Kong. It highlights the complexity of the topic, and calls for further detailed research in multiple settings.
The shadow education system: private tutoring and its implications for planners
  • D W Chapman
  • M Bray
Chapman, D. W., & Bray, M. (1999). The shadow education system: private tutoring and its implications for planners. Economics of Education Review (Vol. 20).
Supplementary education in Cambodia
  • W Dawson
Dawson, W. (2011). Supplementary education in Cambodia. International Christian University Newsletter, (56), 18-19.
Corruption in the classroom: The dilemma of state teachers in Cambodia conducting privarte tutoring for their own students. Presentation for the Education Planning and Development Module
  • K Ehrmann
  • C Margontier-Haynes
  • A Pier
  • C D Hammond
Ehrmann, K., Margontier-Haynes, C., Pier, A., & Hammond, C. D. (2015). Corruption in the classroom: The dilemma of state teachers in Cambodia conducting privarte tutoring for their own students. Presentation for the Education Planning and Development Module, UCL Institute of Education, 2015.