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15 June 2020 - Story

Enabling Teachers to Improve Children’s Learning Outcomes

Ms. Chhum Naikhea a 39 year-old Primary School Teacher from Kampong Chhnang Province, is showing picture cards in class to her students. She happily tells us that this is the first time she has smiled since becoming a primary school teacher 7 years ago.

“I am happy to see my student’s improvements in their learning outcomes. Now they can read and write well,” said Ms. Naikhea.

Naikhea stated that previously parents in her community did not care about their children’s education, which is why her students did not come to class regularly, and suffered from poor results in reading and writing. “As my health was not good and the school environment also was not clean, I felt very tired to teach,” Naikhea added.

Even though Naikhea was tired, she did not give up in overcoming these challenges. “I tried to search for documents from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport and YouTube to help my students learn better, and I also asked my students’ parents to follow up with their children’s learning.” Naikhea continues, “But everything stayed the same and these issues were not solved.”

In 2018, with funding support from Save the Children Korea, Save the Children and partners have worked closely with the Provincial Office of Education to implement the Education with Quality and Inclusive Learning (EQUAL) project in Ou Ruessei Commune. The project aims to raise more effective teaching and learning in schools especially through improve pedagogy and teaching techniques that are inclusive and child-friendly.

Through EQUAL’s teacher trainings, Ms. Naikhea and the School Committee worked in close collaboration with children’s parents to increase their knowledge and encourage them to care for their children’s learning and involvement in school activities.

“I feel happy with the changes I see in my students who now can read, write and do mathematics well, even children with disabilities,” Naikhea said. “My school environment is also now clean without plastic in the school. Students can enjoy coming to school and playing in the playground with the new renovations.” 

Additionally, parents started participating in their children’s education as well as classroom renovations, where they helped to install new tile floors in classrooms. Parent’s also helped produce study materials in order to better organize classes. Ms. Naikhea’s husband also joined school activities with parents during his holiday time off work.

Ms. San Socheata, a classroom committee member and students’ mother, told us that Ms. Naikhea works very hard because she wants to see improved learning outcomes for her students. Based on Socheata’s observations, Ms. Naikhea always encourages the students to join group work and group discussions and she regularly changes children’s seating arrangements to help children learn better. “I admire all her sacrifices and commitment to teaching, and I always get positive information on how my children’s learning outcomes improve every month,” Ms. Socheata added. “No matter how tired she is, she always does her best to help her students have better knowledge, skills and attitudes.”

All of these factors inspire me to work harder. I am now selected to be the Outstanding Teacher in Mathematics in Kampong Chhnang Province at the Department of Education,” Ms. Naikhea continues “I am happy with the changes I see in my students as well as in my community.”

 Ms. Naikhea says she hopes her students will be successful in the future.