Life Skills training for all Teacher Training Centers in Cambodia
In December 2011 two nationwide trainings on Environmental and Agricultural Life Skills were organised for teacher trainers of all 18 Provincial Teacher Trainer Centers (PTTC) and 6 Regional Teacher Trainer Centers (RTTC) in Cambodia. From 5 to 10 December teacher trainers from PTTC Siem Reap facilitated a chicken and fish raising training to agricultural teacher trainers from all PTTCs and RTTCs. The training Biodiversity and Natural Resources was held from 19 to 21 December for environment teacher trainers of all PTTCs.
During this past year two working groups of teacher trainers in PTTC Siem Reap have been preparing for this training. To be able to be facilitators themselves the agricultural working group members have participated in trainings how to apply family scale chicken raising in confinement and how to raise fish in a pond using natural ways to prevent diseases and how to feed them to make a good profit. They collected information from a variety of organisations and combined it in an agriculture teaching manual “chicken and fish raising” for PTTCs and RTTCs.
The environment working group was asked to develop a teaching manual on environmental issues that provides up to date content that is relevant for Cambodian context. Information on issues as climate change, the use and misuse of natural resources was collected from organisations as Live and Learn Cambodia and the Center Environment Education India. The study tour to eco-tourism sites in Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provided a deeper understanding of the importance of protecting the forest and the variety of species living in it. This resulted in an environment teaching manual to be used in all PTTCs.
Both the agricultural and environmental teaching manuals were presented during the nationwide training in December. Teacher trainers from all TTCs gained experience in how to apply a variety of teaching activities such as experiments, observation exercises, story writing etc. in their life skills teaching.
Recently the new curriculum for PTTCs has been implemented. Cooperation between VVOB and the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) has been good. Although the developed life skills teaching manuals are still a draft version, the MoEYS requested VVOB to conduct the Life Skills training as soon as possible in order for teacher trainers to start teaching life skills according to the hours assigned in the new curriculum.
Nine staff members of 4 departments of MoEYS attended the training days in December 2011 to support the importance of the training as well as providing feedback on some last adjustments to improve the manuals.
In the closing speech Mr Chea Phon, deputy director of the Teacher Training Department emphasized the importance of the use of these new teaching manuals and he encouraged the teacher trainers to start practicing chicken and fish raising in the colleges.
Follow up visits to the target PTTCs in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Kandal are important to see if more training is necessary. The first step is to provide these PTTCs with equipment to start chicken and fish raising. This will take place at the end of January 2012.
After final approval of the life skills teaching manuals by the MoEYS hopefully also in January 2012 VVOB will start developing a box with teaching aids that accompanies the teaching manuals. Each PTTC will be given a box that includes DVDs, posters, word cards, materials to be used in educational games and experiment equipment.
Once that is finalised another nationwide training will be organised to refresh the use of the teaching manual and to train participants in the use of the teaching aids provided in the box.