Curriculum in Cambodia has improved, but there are still three major problems to be addressed. First, curriculums do not yet meet the market demand. So, the ministry should study the market thoroughly, and then they can implement curriculums accordingly. Second, there are not enough lecturers at universities. Many lecturers just focus on their lessons, but do not pay attention to student assessments like tests and assignments. Finally, there are not enough academic materials. The Ministry of Education should set up a national qualification framework to measure the actual knowledge of students when they finish their degrees. For example, IT university students must have exactly what knowledge and abilities when they graduate? Once this is in place, the ministry can train teachers to follow it.”
There are several things lacking from education in Cambodia. First, there is a problem with study materials. There are simply not enough books for teachers and students. Second, the number of students in one class is high, sometimes around 100. There should be no more than 35. Furthermore, teachers don’t pay attention to teaching, since they lack the salary to support their family. Last but not least, cheating is also a major problem. There is always cheating in the class and national examinations as well as corruption. When students cheat they do not get real knowledge. They pass the exam but they are not qualified and competent. They will face hardships in studying at university because they have little knowledge from their general education. Also, it is difficult for them to find work in the future. CITA has urged the Ministry of Education to value quality over quantity. To get rid of cheating, the Ministry has to strengthen the capability of teachers and work closely with the directors at schools and proctors at examination centres.”
Sor Kimheang, 22, a fourth-year student at Build Bright University majoring in banking and finance
Most of the students at university don’t have technological know-how since they didn’t study it in high school. Some students at university cannot even use the internet, making it difficult for them to study and do research outside of the books that are available to them. Many schools still do not demand that students study computers. To solve the problem, the Ministry of Education has to invest in improving the ability of schools to teach students to use computers.
Chao Vunthay, 23, a fourth-year student at Build Bright University majoring in information technology
Incoming students have poor English proficiency, so it is difficult for them to study because almost every course at university is conducted in English. Books and information on the internet are also in English. If they do not learn English in high school, they will struggle at university and find it difficult to get a job afterwards. The Ministry should improve English curriculum at high schools. They should have foreign teachers at high schools to improve students’ English, and there should be more practice materials like English books and videos.
What can be done to improve Cambodia’s education system? Give us your suggestions at angkorone.com/lift
Read abstracts of the winning essays from the Cambodian Students Association in Japan’s essay writing contest on page 13. Three-star high-school and university students, who were awarded for their intellectual achievements this past weekend, wrote about how to save Cambodia’s education system.