Education Secretary of State on the Challenges Facing Cambodian Education
Within the basic education programme in Cambodia VVOB works closely together with the Japanese Organisation for International Cooperation (JICA). Last week we organized a workshop together on inquiry-based learning for more than 100 people in presence of the Secretary of State for Teacher Education.
During his keynote speech the Secretary of State highlighted the importance of technology and science in the development of future generations. First, there is a strong shortage of skilled engineers and people with a scientific background in a country that is making a fast transition from an agricultural to an industrial society. Moreover, he referred to the importance of critical thinking, creativity and problem solving as crucial skills in the current, globalised world. He stressed the central role of the lecturers at the teacher training colleges in the formation of future science teachers.
Our activities support these issues by focusing on student-centred approaches. These favour understanding, creativity, team-work and curiosity above memorizing facts. "I notice that students are more motivated, but also better manage the lesson content", tells Eang Vibol, biology lecturer in Kampong Cham. Fortunately, many enthusiastic students are eager to change their country through education. More and more students speak some English and have basic computer skills. Education faces the enormous challenge to prepare current generations of pupils for a society that evolves very quickly.