A senior education official has announced plans to introduce the New Generation School (NGS) curriculum in eight additional public schools across Phnom Penh and various provinces thanks to a partnership with the East Asia Management University (EAMU).

The NGS programme, focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), was initiated by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in 2015 to foster the development of more science professionals. Currently, 11 schools are using the approach.

Speaking at a partnership initiative between the NGS secretariat and EAMU on September 26, ministry secretary of state Om Romny said the 11 schools currently employing the system have almost wholly met the ministry’s objectives.

“A school can only be considered a full NGS if it adheres to 21 core indicators,” he said.

Romny also noted that the eight new schools selected for the NGS project will be announced by the ministry soon.”[Our] professional team will then integrate and train the existing human resources in those institutions.”

The endeavour, aimed at granting schools more autonomy and ensuring high-quality education, is receiving funds for its first phase from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the government investing substantially in the sustainability of the programme.

James Chua, vice-chancellor of EAMU, noted that this marks the first time in Cambodia’s education sector that this many NGSs have partnered with a university to enhance education quality through scholarships and support.

“EAMU will collaborate on the four core activities of scholarships, sponsorship, support and sharing, termed 4S. This initiative will run for five years, costing about $5 million,” he said.

Sao Chantha, principal of Samdech Akka Moha Thamma Pothisal Chea Sim Prek Anchanh High School, located just outsides the capital, emphasised the importance of expanding the NGS study plan in public schools for strengthening the Kingdom’s education sector.

“The growth of the NGS curriculum will truly benefit and strengthen our education,” Chantha said, describing the NGS as a shift in context and mindset, anticipating growth and relevance in the new era.

The 11 NGSs currently operating include four primary schools and seven high schools.