Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said on Tuesday that he is committed to guaranteeing quality education for the 21st century, with well-trained and professional teachers.
Chuon Naron said this when addressing a training course for national-level mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and earth science teachers at the Teacher Training College in Kampong Speu on Tuesday.
Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post on Wednesday that the ministry is strengthening the teaching profession by improving qualifications and teaching methodologies, as it continued to look at increasing teachers’ salaries.
“The training of national-level mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and earth science teachers plays a crucial part in supporting the Ministry of Education, [Youth and Sport’s] reforms, especially its policies on science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Soveacha said.
Teaching methodologies, such as inquiry-based learning methods, were being publicised by the ministry to promote teaching.
“Inquiry-based learning methods focus on opportunity-centred teaching methods for students to learn lesson content. It means helping students with understanding, with teachers playing a role in the coordinated study,” Soveacha said.
Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Ouk Chayavy said Chuon Naron’s remarks were encouraging, but she questioned whether the ministry could carry out its aims transparently.
Should the education sector remain like it is, she said, the ministry’s goals could not be achieved.
“If the focus is on teachers and students in education, let’s allow criticism from teachers and students who are seeing the education sector decline,” Chayavy said.
Teacher morale had considerably decreased because of senior-level officials trying to influence teachers by threatening them, she added.
“Sometimes senior leadership, such as directors of schools and district officials, put too much pressure on me and other teachers, some using rude language. So we all very much want senior leadership to act professionally,” Chayavy said.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has been making efforts to strengthen the quality of education by implementing the reform programmes prioritised by the ministry as a response to government policies in the fourth- phase rectangular strategy to develop human resources, the national-level teacher training course manuals state.