January 15, 2019
On December 21, 2018, approximately 750 people attended the opening ceremony for a teacher education college held by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia and supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Although Cambodia has achieved remarkable growth in recent years, in order to maintain stable economic growth it has become increasingly critical to create and develop industries that are internationally competitive and to develop human resources to support such industries.
Increasing the capacity of teachers in particular is a priority in school education, which is the foundation of human resource development. Teacher education began with irregular short-term courses to meet the severe teacher shortage during the post-conflict reconstruction period that began in the 1980s, and two-year teacher education colleges for elementary and lower secondary teachers were subsequently established throughout Cambodia. However, the current teacher capacity is inadequate for developing more advanced human resources, and the Government of Cambodia is advancing an initiative with the policy goal of establishing four-year teacher education colleges.
JICA therefore launched the Project for Establishing Foundation for Teacher Education College, a technical cooperation project, in 2017. Building on the experience of Japan and with cooperation from Hiroshima University and the Nara University of Education, JICA is supporting the formulation of management plans at teacher education colleges, along with stronger organization and instructors, and is also assisting in the creation of curricula, syllabi and teaching materials in mathematics and science toward the establishment of four-year teacher education programs. Calling on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other aid agencies for cooperation in creating curricula, JICA is moving forward with cooperation from various organizations toward the establishment of four-year teacher education colleges.
Four-Year Teacher Education College
With this support, the first two four-year teacher education colleges in Cambodia were opened in Phnom Penh and Battambang Province in November and December of 2018, and it was on this occasion that the opening ceremony was held.
JICA is enlarging the school buildings and other facilities at those two colleges through the Project for the Construction of Teacher Education Colleges, a grant aid project. JICA is also inviting instructor candidates to Hiroshima University for training to address the lack of instructors at the teacher education colleges, and is implementing other initiatives to provide comprehensive support toward establishing teacher education colleges with efficient administrations.
JICA will introduce and strengthen education practical training as an aspect of the educational system that is characteristic of Japan to develop a more practical educational program, will boost the research efforts carried out by teacher education college instructors, and will formulate a development strategy to expand beyond the two newly opening four-year teacher education colleges.