The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and other stakeholders will celebrate Teachers’ Day on October 5 under the theme Teachers Play an Important Role in Education in All Circumstances.

The ministry said it is continuing to reform teachers’ qualifications and considers a teacher’s ability as key to evaluating student achievement.

In a press statement on September 27, it said the celebration this year will be held virtually and broadcast live on its official Facebook page.

“Teachers’ Day is celebrated for the purpose of inspiring the culture and tradition of honouring teachers in schools across the country where they have been working as educators and as artists in transferring knowledge and as tributes to teachers who have retired or lost their lives,” the ministry said.

Education minister Hang Chuon Naron is expected to make a speech on Digital Revolution in Education and the Implementation of New Teaching Methods at the event.

The celebration will be an occasion to award good principals, teachers, teachers of the Khmer language and mathematics for grades 1 to 3 and Clean School Awards 2019-2020.

There will also be a forum under the theme “Reality, Potential and Excellence of Digital Education in Cambodia”.

This year’s Teachers’ Day will also see an event titled Teachers’ Day October 5 Campaign Week, which lasts for six days from September 29 to October 4. This event includes a discussion forum on teaching and learning history subjects based on a regulatory approach, debating on the topic of “Teaching for 21st century skills” for the youth, among others.

Chuon Naron said on September 27 that over the past eight years, the ministry has launched a series of reform programmes to strengthen the quality and efficiency of education services, especially effective human resource training and specific skills to contribute to economic development in a new context, namely the digital economy.

“Based on the results of the high school diploma exam, the education ministry has conducted in-depth analysis and reflection, looking for ways to improve the education system. Based on the results of this exam, we have seen the problems in the education sector. It is necessary to strengthen and improve teachers’ qualifications, as well as to strengthen school management,” he said.

He added that a teacher’s ability was important, especially in specialised subjects, teaching methods and the evaluation of students’ academic results. The ministry has prepared a reform focusing on five pillars – reform of teachers, incentives for teachers, salary increases, teacher qualifications, and improvement of teacher training programmes.

Ouk Chhayavy, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA), said this year’s Teachers’ Day would not be the same as in the past due to the implementation of health measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. But there will be a petition to demand more attention to teachers, especially retirees.

“For us, we only want teachers to have a decent living. On Teachers’ Day, CITA always demands an increase in the basic salary of teachers to two million riel [$500] to enable teachers to have proper living conditions when they are retired,” she said.