On Monday 24 February 2020, UNESCO Phnom Penh supported the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) as they officially launched Komar Rien Komar Cheh – Cambodia’s national early grade learning programme. We have worked alongside MoEYS and many other development partners and NGOs to design and implement Komar Rien Komar Cheh.
The launch event was attended by over 200 participants from government, community, donors, NGOs, schools and the private sector. Presentations were given by His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport; His Excellency Chan Sophea, Director of the Primary Education Department; Natascha Paddison, Deputy Representative of UNICEF and Representative of the Education Sector Working Group; and Michael Newbill, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission.
The programme is part of STEPCam (Strengthening Teacher Education Programmes in Cambodia), which is financed through the fixed part of the third consecutive Global Partnership for Education grant for Cambodia (GPE-3). GPE-3 has brought together complementary efforts from MoEYS, UNESCO and UNICEF, as well as other development partners, including USAID, the European Union, SIDA, and NGOs, to collaborate at a national level.
As MoEYS said in the media release for the launch, “Together, we can make sure that in every school in Cambodia students learn (Komar Rien) and students know (Komar Cheh)!”
Komar Rien Komar Cheh, which is focused on Khmer and Mathematics, aims to achieve quality early grade education for all children, creating the foundation for lifelong learning and success. The grade 1 Khmer package of Komar Rien Komar Cheh was piloted in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and selected schools in Kampong Speu and Kampong Chhnang provinces in 2018-2019. After the successful pilot, the MoEYS is now rolling out the grade 1 Khmer package in five more provinces (Kampot, Odar Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Stueng Treng).
For the current 2019-2020 school year, the grade 2 Khmer package is also being piloted in the initial pilot provinces and selected schools; while the Mathematics package is being piloted for both grade 1 and 2 in Siem Reap. In the next school year of 2020-2021, grade 1 Mathematics will be rolled out further to Kratie, Odar Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Stueng Treng.
When implementing Komar Rien Komar Cheh, schools are provided with high quality materials to support teaching and learning, such as teacher guides, exercise books and student workbooks. Teachers are also trained and supported to use more effective, interactive and fun teaching and learning methodologies. This is being integrated into teachers’ training curriculum at teacher training institutions across the country.