The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday inaugurated the New Generation Pedagogical Research Centre (NGPRC), located at the National Institute of Education.
It offers a Master’s Degree in Education in Professional Ethics, Teaching and Mentoring conferred upon graduates who have successfully completed a one-year course of the study.
“The goal of establishing this centre is to expand the scope of New Generation Schools (NGS), which are autonomous state schools that receive funds from the government and demand high quality of teaching that is aligned with the standards of 21st-century education,” the ministry said.
Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron, who presided over the inauguration ceremony, said the establishment of the new centre reflects progressive educational reforms in Cambodia.
Chuon Naron said: “Since the inauguration of the NGS four years ago, we have expanded the model to a total of 11 sites in several provinces and have received good results.
“But we still lack teachers and a teaching methodology. So, the Ministry of Education created this pedagogical research centre to introduce innovative teaching methodologies.”
He recalled that since his ministry introduced education reform in 2017, they have consulted with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to design strategies that increase competitive advantage through human capital.
The creation of this research centre was the result of that consultation, he said.
“This centre is the place to learn about new teaching methods that synthesise theory and practice. The programmes in this centre are framed to instil a deeper understanding of the theories through research and application,” Chuon Naron said.
The centre has adapted the Experiential, Participative, Image-Driven, and Connected (EPIC) framework, which not only focuses on theoretical knowledge but experiential learning as well.
Through this methodology, teachers can boost students’ skills in memory retention, creative thinking and collaboration.
Kurt Bredenburg, adviser to the research centre’s partner NGO Kampuchea Action to Promote Education (KAPE), said the initial plan was to create a centre for teacher training but changed to a pedagogical research centre once sufficient resources had been reached.
“We hope that this centre will produce a pool of educated and skilled human resource that can bring about positive changes in our educational system and school management.”
According to the ministry, the NGPRC was built on a budget of $110,000 provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and some contributions from development partners, including KAPE, Cambodia Child Fund and Franks Family Foundation.