Ministry focuses on early education

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The education ministry will on Monday launch an early childhood education programme supported by various international organisation. MOEYS

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will on Monday launch “Komar Rien Komar Cheh”, an early childhood education programme supported by USAID, Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Unesco, Unicef and many other NGO partners.

The event will be presided over by Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron. Also present will be US Embassy deputy chief of mission Michael Newbill and Unicef deputy representative Natascha Paddison.

Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said on Sunday that the programme reflected positive collaboration between the ministry and all relevant stakeholders to continue improving primary education to ensure students have the tools they need to pursue further education at higher education institutions.

“The new teaching methods and the new study package in this programme add value to existing achievements. It encourages students to become active learners with life skills and mathematics at early levels of primary school,” he said.

A press release on the programme issued by the ministry said it had been developed through a multi-stakeholder process that had drawn upon research and evidence about early education.

The press release said its mathematics component of the programme included teacher guides, teaching and learning materials for use in Khmer, and mathematics subjects for grade one and two students which are complementary to current textbooks.

It said all teachers of grade one and two would receive training and mentorship on the new methods. Having undergone training, they would receive assistance from headteachers and pedagogical counsellors about further teaching methods.

According to the press release, in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, the early grade reading package had been implemented in 2,100 primary schools and had benefitted over 150,000 students in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Kratie, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Kampot and Oddar Meanchey provinces.

The package had been implemented in 130 schools in other provinces by NGO partners. The mathematics package was being piloted in Siem Reap, and in coming years would expand to the other locations.

“To ensure the overall improved qualities of early grade education, the ministry will expand the implementation of the ‘Komar Rien Komar Cheh’ programme in all primary schools across the country and be integrated into teachers’ training at all training institutions,” the ministry said.

The ministry said that through the implementation of the programme, all Cambodian children, including children with disabilities, would be better equipped to develop strong Khmer and mathematics skills.