Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron has announced plans for a future collaboration between a school in Mali and Cambodia’s New Generation Schools (NGS).

The private education sector has expressed its support for this initiative.

Chuon Naron shared the plan during his September 2 meeting with Eva Mysliwiec, the founder of Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), and Mohamad Dierra, the newly appointed principal of the Complexe Scolaire Samdech Hun Sen (Samdech Hun Sen School Complex), located in Bakino, the capital of Mali. Mysliwiec was formerly the founding executive director of the school.

Kong Samneang, head of the Federation of Education Services in Cambodia, said on September 4 that he supported the cooperation, as Mali’s education levels are lower than those of Cambodia. Due to the African nation’s recent recovery, it has a pressing need for human resource development, he added.

“Former Prime Minister Hun Sen’s previous assistance to Mali primarily focused on hard infrastructure. The education ministry aims to expand collaboration in soft skills,” he explained.

Samneang mentioned areas such as curriculum development, teacher training programmes and innovative educational methods, as potential needs.

He views this as a positive move by the government to share successful reform programmes with countries in need. He also believes that the cooperation will enhance Cambodia’s international reputation.

He expressed a desire for the Kingdom to provide more aid to vulnerable countries if feasible.

According to the education ministry, Chuon Naron explained that the meeting aimed to establish partnerships between schools in both countries.

“The ministry will facilitate collaborations between Cambodian schools and those in Mali, with a particular focus on enhancing STEM education [science, technology, engineering and mathematics],” he said.

Chuon Naron highlighted that this collaboration would involve sharing Cambodia’s experience in school reforms, including technology integration, teacher training and the implementation of modern teaching techniques.

The goal is to equip students with 21st-century skills and improve the quality of education on both sides.

The Complexe Scolaire Samdech Hun Sen was built in 2013, with financial support from the former prime minister.

Prime Minister Hun Manet recently underscored the government’s commitment to enhancing the quality of education, particularly in STEM fields, from kindergarten to secondary school.

Manet stressed the importance of preparing students to conduct research and utilise digital technology, particularly in high-level innovation.