CARE is supporting the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to fulfil its goal of having 10,000 indigenous students enrolled in a primary school by 2018, by ensuring that more teachers are trained and available to teach in schools in ethnic minority communities. These teachers use multilingual education—a method of teaching which provides opportunities for children to start school in their home language before continuing their studies in the national language.
At the end of June nearly 45 people from the Ministry and its line departments learned more about progress in ensuring Ministry staff can take over the CARE Cambodia's training of ethnic minority teachers. Multilingual education teachers play a pivotal role in quality education, and CARE’s training aims to equip teachers in primary schools in the north-east of Cambodia with the materials and skills they need to facilitate quality, equitable learning for all students.
After 14 years of successfully bringing multilingual education to ethnic minorities, during which time CARE has trained more than 200 primary school teachers in multilingual education, the organisation is aiming to ensure the Ministry is able to continue providing this specialist support in the future. 33 teacher trainers from the Ministry are now able to train multilingual education teachers themselves, removing the need for CARE’s support in the future as the Ministry is developing skilled trainers to continue leading the expansion of multilingual education to more schools.
“Multilingual education is important to me and for the Department of Special Education of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. It has ensured the sustainability of the multilingual education implementation in Cambodia.” Pen Thavy, Deputy Director of Special Education Department, said.
“I am strongly committed to integrating a budget for training and support of multilingual education teachers into the annual budget plan for the Special Education Department. I will also continue to work in collaboration with CARE Cambodia to develop the National Action Plan on Multilingual Education Program (2019-2021), as well as the Student Evaluation Tool for this program”, she added.
“MLE teacher training on multilingual education is important so teachers have the knowledge and skills to teach ethnic minority children in four provinces at primary level, which effectively implemented the multilingual education program.” Pa Satha, Deputy Director of Provincial Office Education, said.
“The number of teachers under the multilingual education program is increasing year by year. The total number of teachers under the multilingual education program was 191 persons, 64 women, and in 2017 there is an increase up to 241 persons, 93 women,” he added.
At the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year, 5,600 indigenous children (2,683 girls) were enrolled in multilingual education schools in the north-east of Cambodia. Under the Multilingual Education National Action Plan 2015-18, the Ministry aims that by 2018 approximately 10,000 multilingual education students will be enrolled in a primary school as a direct result of more teachers being trained and available to teach in a way that supports them to access education.
These activities are part of the Teacher Training project in CARE Cambodia’s Ethnic Minority Women program.