SeeBeyondBorders provides input to Ministry of Education’s program design SeeBeyondBorders provides input to Ministry of Education’s program design

By Pheung Pov -

Country Manager Pov talks about his experience when invited by Ministry of Education to provide advice and input to the Ministry’s education program design.

The success of SeeBeyondBorders was recognised recently by the Cambodian Government when I was asked to present at a Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) workshop. It was a great opportunity to provide advice and input to the Ministry’s education program design.

In August 2016, I was pleased to host the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), Mr Hang Chuon Naron, his staff and UNICEF delegates, when they visited SeeBeyondBorders’ project in Angkor Thom district.  We were very pleased the Minister recognised the value and effectiveness of the SeeBeyondBorders’ quality teaching model, and invited SeeBeyondBorders to work with his colleagues to develop a policy about mentoring at schools.

In a letter to SeeBeyondBorders following the visit, the Minister said,

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport highly commend the work of SeeBeyondBorders and hope that Ministry and SeeBeyondBorders education team can continue to work closely together to further develop the capacity of teachers and mentors in Cambodia, and significantly improve student achievement as part of our Teacher Policy Action Plan.  See the full letter here

Earlier this month, I was invited to attend a discussion workshop oganised by UNICEF and the Ministry (MoEYS), along with Mr Vi Vit, Director of Ek Phnom District Office of Education and Mr Tim Buny, a mentor in Ek Phnom district.  We were invited to share SeeBeyondBorders’ best practices and provide advice to the development of a mentoring program, based on the success in Ek Phnom.  In extending the invitation, Mr Thean Veasna of MoEYS said, “The Ministry leaders often mention their appreciation of SeeBeyondBorders’ program, and regard the inputs from SeeBeyondBorders as very important”.  He added, “We all work together for the benefit of our Cambodian children”.

At the beginning of the workshop, Mr Tim, Mr Vi and I presented to more than 40 educators from MoEYS, representatives of provincial and district education authorities and UNICEF. We provided an overview of the quality teaching program, best practices, challenges and lessons learnt since SeeBeyondBorders’ teacher training and mentoring program was implemented in Ek Phnom in 2011.

We emphasised the following:

  1. Proper teacher training in Math and Literacy content are essential, as the capacity of teachers directly affect the learning outcomes of students. We need to build capacity for teachers and mentors in all government schools.
  2. Classroom-based mentoring is crucial to ensure continuous improvement of teacher knowledge and skills, and is a good way to track teacher performance and to evaluate school results.  
  3. Mentoring at cluster level and above should focus on supporting the school-base mentoring.

My fellow speakers and I then posed the question, How do you reward teachers and mentors who achieve good performance and results?  We emphasized that teachers in Government schools need fair compensation and recognition for good skills and performance.

Over the three days of this workshop, I was pleased to be actively involved in discussions with MoEYS about program framework, training content and tools for project monitoring and evaluation. However, this was just the initial stage of program development.  

I know this is not enough to ensure adoption of SeeBeyondBorders’ approach, but at least we had the opportunity to advise MoEYS, based on our extensive experience in Ek Phnom - what should work and what will not work.  I hope these officials take our suggestions and consider them in detail.  

SeeBeyondBorders is keen to continue working with the Ministry, and providing input to program design, based on the demonstrated success of our quality teaching program, and our co-operative relationship with education authorities in Ek Phnom.

 

PHOTO: Mr Vi Vit, Director of Ek Phnom District Office of Education, addresses the workshop

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