Global citizenship education is something the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has been working diligently on teaching all students, setting out a number of policies, strategies and activities through certain curricula for a better understanding of the concept.
Global citizenship refers to people seeing themselves as members of the world, adhering to the sharing of cultures, without discrimination, and recognising and appreciating the multicultural values of other nations, and having concern for political, economic, environmental and social issues around the world.
This article focuses on global citizenship education, highlighting the activities of the Ministry of Education in disseminating knowledge on global citizenship within the framework of education.
The national policy on “Lifelong Learning” and the “Education, Youth and Sport Reforms Strategy 2018-2023” – key components contributing to the promotion and integration of global citizenship – will also be looked at.
To further understand global citizenship, students should understand its key indicators:
• Social responsibility;
• Global competence;
• Global civic engagement.
They should also appreciate the role of global citizenship, including responsibility for understanding one’s and others’ perspectives on global issues, respecting the principles of multiculturalism and building networks with people from different countries and cultures, understanding global issues and contributing to global community development.
To consolidate global citizenship education into the mindsets of teachers and students, MoEYS in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (UNESCO APCEIU) held a workshop on “Capacity Building for Global Citizenship Education Curriculum Development and Integration in Cambodia”.
This was presided over by Minister of Education, Youth and Sport HE Dr Hang Chuon Naron, with the participation of relevant units and representatives of various educational organisation partners on July 18-19, 2016.
The workshop was held with three main purposes:
• To enhance knowledge and concepts of global citizenship education, and encourage participants to support global citizenship in programme development and facilitation;
• To present the current situation, requests, shortcomings and the potential for participation according to the level of development of the global citizenship education programme;
• To provide data for national situation analysis and curriculum development.
MoEYS has incorporated Morals and Civics into all curricula at all school levels (see the article “Strengthening student ethics to elevate quality of education” published in The Phnom Penh Post on February 2, 2021) to strengthen the capacity of students at all levels in becoming global citizens with the right attitude, knowledge, skills and values in response to national, regional and global contexts.
This proves that global citizenship has been embedded into school curricula to help teachers and students acquire greater knowledge on the subject.
The Ministry of Education has also coordinated and prepared the national policy on” Lifelong Learning” with the approval of the Council of Ministers in the plenary session on June 7, 2019 as a compass for human resource development towards further progress and prosperity.
The national policy on “Lifelong Learning” aims to provide opportunities and support for all people to have access to education in all its forms and to use the acquired knowledge and skills to increase efficiency, quality, productivity and incomes in line with the age of information and communication technology, and social intelligence.
To achieve these objectives, the government has put out a number of strategies, among which Strategy 8 is focused on promoting a culture of living as a global citizen. Strategy 8 includes:
• Promoting every citizen, especially young people, to engage in voluntary work;
• Fostering a culture of the voluntary sharing of knowledge, and experiences from relevant ministries, institutions, the private sector and civil society;
• Encouraging employees at public and private institutions to practise lifelong learning;
• Urging all citizens, especially vulnerable and marginalised group, to participate in and gain the benefits from a programme of lifelong learning;
• Increasing job opportunities for those who have been through specific training systems by motivating and prioritising volunteers;
• Fostering a love of lifelong learning among the family and the wider community to eliminate discrimination of all forms and live harmoniously.
To support and promote global citizenship education to teachers and students in the education sector, in 2018 MoEYS set out the “Education, Youth and Sport Reforms Strategy 2018-2023” focusing on four strategies:
• Education management reform strategy;
• Higher education reform strategy;
• Youth development reform strategy;
• Physical education and sport development reform strategy.
For the education management reform strategy, four fundamental strategies have been set out:
• Educational management reform;
• Administrative management reform;
• Financial management reform;
• Human resource management reform.
These core strategies aim to promote citizenship qualities both nationally and globally, focusing on knowledge, skills and life skills, as well as obeying law and order for the community, sustainable development and the participation in political activities, along with understanding the global situation, respecting the human race and its values, and making the world a better and more responsible place.
In addition, all these strategies are aimed at strengthening and disseminating global citizenship education to educators, teachers and students at all educational levels.
The meaning and contexts of global citizenship continue to be disseminated widely in the education sector and wider Cambodian society.
MoEYS has been working diligently to foster a broader understanding of global citizenship, integrating the concept into the mindset of learners through all forms of education and the setting out of national policy on “Lifelong Learning” and the “Education, Youth and Sport Reforms Strategy 2018-2023”.