The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and UNESCO are launching a grade 3 mathematics package aimed at transforming classroom learning on December 19.

UNESCO has supported the ministry’s development of mathematics packages for grades 1 to 3, with the aim of improving student learning outcomes.

The launch marks the achievement of a key milestone in the initiative, said a December 18 joint press release.

The event would be presided over by Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hang Chuon Naron and attended by UNESCO representative to Cambodia Sardar Umar Alam, ministry officials and development partners.

The early grade mathematics materials are aimed at improving the quality of student learning by updating the competencies and teaching methods of teachers. These methods include promoting greater use of classroom activities by teachers and encouraging students to actively participate in these activities and think about the topics they are learning.

“The materials are designed to make learning mathematics more engaging and rewarding, by introducing active learning strategies in the classroom,” said the release.

“Topics and illustrations in the materials are designed to relate to real-world situations to help students better understand how mathematics is used in everyday situations,” it added.

The new grade 3 materials build on the learning outcomes of the grade 1 and 2 packages that were launched in November 2020 to ensure clear progression. Each has a set of competencies that students are expected to master at the end of the grade.

The grade 1 package has since been implemented in five provinces across Cambodia, while the pilot for grade 2 in Siem Reap province has been completed. As part of the rollout of grade 1 and 2 materials, 7,000 teachers underwent rigorous training to use the new student-centred teaching technique.

Strengthening Teacher Education Programmes in Cambodia (STEPCam) supported the establishment of a national mentoring system to ensure teachers can access regular and effective professional support.

“In total, more than 230,000 grade 1 and 2 students have benefitted from STEPCam’s support in early grade learning.

“With the new teaching and learning materials, grade 1 and 2 teachers are already seeing an improvement in student learning in their classes,” the press release said.

Since their launch, the packages have received strong support from development partners to provide new investments to reach more students beyond STEPCam-supported provinces, it added.

In the coming years, the ministry will progressively roll out the materials across all three grades to benefit an additional 131,000 students, with the ultimate goal of achieving nationwide rollout so every child in Cambodia has access to quality primary education.