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Ministry offers crash course to fill teacher shortage

A teacher (right) guides students through academic exercises in her classroom at Phnom Penh’s Wat Koh High School in 2014.
A teacher (right) guides students through academic exercises in her classroom at Phnom Penh’s Wat Koh High School in 2014. Pha Lina

Ministry offers crash course to fill teacher shortage

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports announced yesterday that it will offer an accelerated learning program to train up to 700 teachers to fill a shortage of qualified grade 10 and 12 teachers.

Teachers of grades 7 to 9 and those currently teaching grades 10 to 12 but who are not fully qualified (without a bachelor’s degree) have been invited to apply before August 6.

The ministry is especially looking for teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, Khmer literature and history. Those interested will have to pass a three-hour subject exam, to be administered on September 4.

Once in, training will begin on September 19. The initiative is part of the Teacher Policy Action Plan (TPAP), which is one of the reform priorities of the ministry, Iman Morooka, chief of communications for UNICEF, said in an email.

Accepted teachers “will complete a 10-month, part-time course, which will be equivalent to a degree at the end”.

Teachers must have five years of experience, and those already teaching grades 10 through 12 will be given priority, according to the announcement.

Acting director of the Cambodian Independent Teacher Association (CITA) Ouk Chhayavy said that the ministry should reinforce the examination to make sure that capable candidates can become teachers for the next generation.

“The reason for the shortage in remote areas is that the salary is low and teachers want to teach in Phnom Penh [which pays better],” she added.

Neither Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron nor his spokesman Ros Salin could be reached for comment.

Additional reporting by Donna M Airoldi

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