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MoEYS raising education quality by reforming teacher training centres

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The career growth, professional decision-making and autonomy of teachers is enhanced to improve students’ learning outcomes. Photo supplied

MoEYS raising education quality by reforming teacher training centres

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) continues to strengthen the quality of teaching by focusing on continuing to improve the qualifications and living standards of teachers through various mechanisms.

With modern teaching recognising teachers as classroom leaders, this article highlights the promotion of teacher qualifications through the “Teacher Policy Action Plan” and the “Nine Strategies for Pedagogical School Reform” within current contexts.

The Ministry of Education in January 2015 approved the Teacher Policy Action Plan as part of teaching reforms with the aim of increasing the quality, standards, efficiency and capacity of Cambodian teachers to that on a par with other countries in the region.

The Teacher Policy Action Plan consists of a range of key strategies.

Attracting talent

To draw capable people into the profession, the living conditions, professional values, status and social standing of teachers are enhanced by improving the remuneration system, with other financial and social benefits for educators and regular salaries paid through the banking system.

The professional development of teachers is also improved, as are the defining criteria and professional conditions required to recruit them.

Teacher training systems

Determining the standards of the teacher training system consists of implementing measures such as upgrading the system and improving the effectiveness of teacher assistance programmes.

In this regard, MoEYS has promoted support activities in schools for teachers and in the training of student teachers, and established teacher support systems in schools. It has also established a pedagogical counselling system in which good educators support new teachers.

Regional teacher training centres

Developing regional teacher training centres focuses on infrastructure development through the upgrading of ICT teaching and learning facilities – as well as materials, laboratories, toilets and dormitories, et cetera – with the transformation of teacher training centres into centres for teacher development.

These teacher development centres place an emphasis on increasing the skills and professional experience of education personnel, with their function strengthened through the training of educational inspectors and management officers at the municipal, provincial, commune and district levels.

Meeting needs

To meet the needs of educational institutions, a range of initiatives are focused on, including modernising teacher planning (supply and demand); strengthening teacher utilisation based on staffing norms and principles; and improving staff management.

There is also an emphasis on delegating the recruitment and management of teachers in accordance with the principles set at the sub-national level; and enhancing school support committees and involving stakeholders to participate in school operations.

To ensure sustainability, the processes and procedures in teacher recruitment and the retention of those in training are improved.

Training and development

Teacher training and professional development emphasises cultivating a culture of lifelong-learning and the sharing of professional knowledge and experiences with educational network groups; developing effective on-site teacher support mechanisms; and developing guidelines on the requirements and benefits regarding teachers’ professional development.

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MoEYS has established the New Generation Pedagogical Research Centre to complement existing reform efforts. Photo supplied

School leaders

The effectiveness of school leaders is improved through a number of initiatives such as improving school leadership mechanisms and the professional criteria involved.

Through improving their working environments and living conditions, with recognition and rewards presented to outstanding educators, teachers remain motivated and are retained in the system.

The career growth, professional decision-making and autonomy of teachers as defined in the law is enhanced to improve students’ learning outcomes.

Monitoring and evaluation

Strengthening teacher monitoring and evaluation systems focuses on reviewing the value of teachers’ performance in connection with professional development systems.

These include improving teacher management information systems through the establishment of baseline data; establishing and using teacher monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to improve results; and increasing the rights of school management committees regarding institutional management and development.

To further contribute to strategies for the strengthening of teaching and teacher qualification enhancement, the Ministry of Education in July 2019 launched the “Nationwide Teacher Training Centre Development Action Plan 2019-2023”.

In order to implement and coordinate the plan, MoEYS has established a teacher training centre development committee – consisting of 143 people, 41 female – with the participation of relevant institutions.

These include the Department of Teacher Training; the National Institute of Education and Teacher Training Centers at all levels throughout the country’s 25 institutions and national trainers in all subjects.

The Royal University of Phnom Penh, the Department of Policy and the Department of Curriculum Development are also involved.

“The Nationwide Teacher Training Centre Development Action Plan 2019-2023” has nine components, consisting of the strengthening of good governance and management at such institutions, and developing teacher training programmes as well as teaching and learning materials.

It also looks at developing the qualifications of management committees, teacher trainers and the personnel at teacher training centres; improving the working and living conditions of the teacher trainers; and the selecting of potential student teachers.

The reform strategy for teacher training centres also includes improving the living and studying conditions of student teachers; supporting budgets; infrastructure development; and connecting teacher training centres, centres for teaching practicum and collaborative schools.

In addition to these nine components, MoEYS has also established the New Generation Pedagogical Research Centre to complement existing reform efforts on, among others, raising the standards of teachers and teaching methods to meet the learning needs of the 21st century.

Modern teaching recognises teachers as classroom leaders, a role to be used as a resource for achieving optimum learning outcomes for students.

Thus the strategies set out in the Nationwide Teacher Training Centre Development Action Plan 2019-2023 and the Teacher Policy Action Plan have been contributing to the continued strengthening of teaching and the improvement of teacher qualifications in Cambodia.

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