The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports announced that 1,000 teachers will be selected to undergo training for the academic year 2019-2020 at the National Institute of Education starting early November.
Education Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha told The Post that every year, his ministry divided the teachers proportionally in the selection process according to the needs of their respective regions.
“At the same time, the teachers who resided in target provinces or areas facing difficulties and have the skills that are needed will also be encouraged,” he said.
The training, Soveacha added, will encompass new teaching methods as covered in the following subjects – active learning, constructive learning, problem-solving learning, research-based learning, inquiry-based learning and classroom management techniques.
“The recruitment of teachers is based on principles of justice, transparency and quality in order to respond to the learning and teaching needs of the 21st century,” he said.
Soveacha stressed that effective teacher recruitment and training were the keys to reforming the Kingdom’s education system and were important in ensuring that the status and role of teachers in society was highly valued.
He said his ministry and relevant stakeholders focused on creating a mechanism for attracting people who were capable and willing to work as educators.
Cambodian Independent Teachers Association president Ouk Chhayavy on Tuesday said the recruitment was aimed at addressing the shortage of teachers nationwide as their numbers who will retire this year and in the following years “would be high”.
Chhayavy said the teacher shortage was driven by low pay as many of them left public schools to teach at private institutions or asked to be transferred to provincial towns and Phnom Penh from rural areas.
She lamented that people with connections had more advantages over others who did not, even though the latter might have stronger motivation to become teachers.
“In the past, we have seen that the Ministry of Education had campaigned for the recruitment of contract teachers. Those who were connected to a government official were particularly favoured in some districts and provinces,” she told The Post on Tuesday.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said he wanted to see fresh aspects in the recruitment process so that teachers would remain in remote areas.
Chey suggested three options in recruiting the teachers. The first one is to prioritise those who are natives to the area. Second is to prioritise those who live in or around the province. And finally, provide teachers with volunteer opportunities in their preferred locations.
“Doing so will affect the teacher recruitment competition, but we need to think about the long run. As teachers move from one province to another, some are transferred to the wrong locations."
“This is a chronic disease. We want to see a new method, recruit teachers based on the needs of certain areas and identify how many are needed there,” Chey said.
He said the Ministry of Education had a pretty good monitoring system on the examination.
“When the system is good, bribery will be impossible,” he told The Post.