The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) firmly believes that with teachers having a significant impact on the quality of students’ learning and their lives, they are important change-makers in the socioeconomic development of Cambodia.

Teacher training in the Kingdom has undergone a number of important reforms over the decades, with the newly established four-year Teacher Education Colleges (TECs) – which have produced outstanding teachers at primary and lower-secondary schools – a key development.

The modern teacher training system in Cambodia began with irregular short-term training programmes to cope with an overwhelming shortage of teachers after the 1980s during the conflict reconstruction period.

With the training system gradually developing, two-year teacher training centres for primary and secondary schools were established in 1997 as regular teacher training institutions.

Overcoming tremendous hurdles at that time, such as insufficient infrastructure and resources, teachers have made great efforts and contributed admirably to re-establishing the Cambodian education system, which, serving as the foundation of the country, has resulted in impressive economic growth over the decades.

The Ministry of Education has upgraded teaching by establishing four-year TECs. SUPPLIED

As the Kingdom has developed, teacher quality has become even more important to improving students’ learning outcomes, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has upgraded the teaching qualification by establishing four-year Teacher Education Colleges (TECs) for primary and lower-secondary teachers.

In response to a request from MoEYS, JICA cooperated in establishing the first two four-year TECs, in Phnom 
Penh and Battambang.

This included the construction of buildings and the nurturing of teacher trainers, as well as the development of curriculums, syllabuses and teaching materials.

This has led to outstanding improvements in teacher training and the upgrading of qualifications for teachers in Cambodia.

Teachers have a significant impact on the learning and lives of their students. SUPPLIED

TECs have already produced some 1,000 graduates, and new primary and lower-secondary teachers with bachelor’s degrees have begun work in schools.

By expanding TECs in Cambodia, the importance of the teachers who have graduated from the four-year TECs has been widely recognised, with MoEYS in principle setting a policy direction that teacher education will be steadily reformed from two years of training to four.

“Human Capital Development” is one of the priorities outlined in the Pentagonal Strategy Phase 1 of the Royal Government of Cambodia, with teachers playing a pivotal role in enhancing the capacity of students, who will create the future of the country.

JICA, as an implementing agency of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), is to continue working with the Cambodian government, people and other development partners to contribute to the improvement of teacher education – with teachers ensuring the future of Cambodia will be bright. 

Phnom Penh Teacher Education College students. SUPPLIED