The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced the winners of the Samdech Techo Hun Sen Education Awards for the 2021-2022 academic year. The awards were created to acknowledge the best of Cambodia’s school principals, teachers and schools across five categories.

In a March 27 press release, the ministry said the best of the Kingdom’s top 10 school principals was Leng Savuth, principal of Mesang High school in Prey Veng province’s Mesang district.

The best teacher overall was Suong Dara of Hun Sen Balang High School in Kampong Thom province’s Stung Sen district.

Sok Tith, of Kampong Chhnang’s Chrok Sdech Primary School located in Samaki Meanchey district, was adjudged the best Khmer teacher.

Nuth Choeurn Sima, a teacher at Wat Thmei Primary School in Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Tralach district, was named the best mathematics teacher in the country.

In addition, the ministry presented awards to the 10 cleanest schools in the Kingdom. Number one was Oudong High School. The other nine finalists were Tuol Thmor Secondary School, the Pre-school Resource Centre of Preah Sihanouk province, Chea Sim Santhormok High School, Wat Bo Primary School, Preah Sihanouk Primary School, Trapeang Prei Primary School, Wat Knong Primary School, Preah Reach Akeak Mohesey primary school and the Lycee Preah Angduong.

Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post that the awards were the results of the efforts made by the management and faculty of each of the schools.

“The commitment of these individuals has had a positive impact on the quality of education in Cambodia,” he said.

He added that the awards served as a means for the ministry to incentivise educational professionals to perform to the highest possible standards.

“School management, and especially teachers, played an important role in enhancing the quality of learning and teaching before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. They responded to the demands placed on them admirably, and have followed the ethical code of their profession,” he continued.

The Samdech Techo Hun Sen Education Awards were first handed out in 2016. The municipal and provincial education departments conducted their own assessments, based on a set of strict principles and criteria. Their nominations were submitted to the education ministry for a final decision.

Kul Sopheap, principal of the Pre-school Resource Centre of Preah Sihanouk province which claimed third place, told The Post on March 29 that the annual student intake at her school had jumped from slightly more than 200 students to over 700.

“I believe that the results we were obtaining – and the trust we earned from parents – are responsible for the increase in enrolments,” she said.

“This result means a lot to us, because of all of the hard work we have put into growing our school. This award reflects not just on my faculty, but on the support we receive from the national level education authorities,” she concluded.