Phnom Penh (June 21, 2019) – Local challenges require local innovations and partnership. That is why Teach For Cambodia (TFC) and the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) in general and RUPP’s Faculty of Education in particular have cooperated to co-deliver an innovative M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction for teacher development and leadership. The signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked in the afternoon of 21 June 2019 at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
On behalf of the Minister of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), H.E. Dr. Im Koch, Secretary of State of MoEYS witnessed the official signing of a five-year MoU between TFC and RUPP. Representing TFC was Mr. Siv Monirath, TFC’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder. H.E. Dr. Chet Chealy, Rector, represented RUPP.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Sok Soth, Dean of Faculty of Education, shared his first impression of TFC. “When I first met the team from Teach for Cambodia, I was in awe. It was like falling in love at first sight. We shared the same passion for education and we both wanted to partner and create an innovative teacher education together. We share so many values in redefining the educational philosophy for Cambodia as our country moves into Industrial Revolution 4.0, and we both know we cannot work in silos.”
TFC is part of a global education network called Teach For All where all independent country organizations seek to establish partnerships with local universities. TFC was initially drawn to RUPP because of the exceptional leadership of Dr. Chet Chealy. Meeting the dynamic and personable Dr. Sok Soth and the mighty Faculty of Education team solidified this desire. Dr. Sok Soth and his team are learning-oriented, innovative and see themselves as agents of change for the broader education system, which is exactly how TFC approaches the work as well.
In the event, Dr. Chet Chealy later revealed, “RUPP’s Faculty of Education has two key roles: building educators for the country and supporting the government’s education policy implementation. We want to position our university as a model of excellence.” Further, Dr. Chet Chealy referenced a shared purpose to “polish the human capital” of Cambodia.
This joint initiative between RUPP and TFC attracts committed and competent candidates into the teaching profession and develops them for roles critical to the transformation of the education system. This directly supports the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport’s Teacher Policy Action Plan and the minister’s education reform agenda to build a new pool of teachers and leaders to increase the learning outcomes of all children. This initiative could also provide a useful model for future higher education initiatives related to the professional development of educators.
Siv Monirath, a strong advocate of public-private partnerships as a new way of improving educational outcomes, emphasized on the occasion that, “Our partnership with RUPP is indeed a local example of how non-government bodies and government organisations should work together, so that we both can play a key role in supporting the national policy and raising the standards for public education.” Specifically, the MoU between TFC and RUPP is an example of how government, with the support of academia, civil society organizations and the private sector, can jointly improve education and teacher development in the country to prepare for the future.
TFC and RUPP have a similar goal, says Dr. Soth: “We want to be each others’ effective partner in this work together.” Echoing this statement, Chhe Dany, a 2018 Teach For Cambodia Fellow highlighted her sentiment, “We are now in the same boat together, the boat of education. Let’s move forward in a bigger, better and faster way together for our children and our nation.”
It is worth noting that the TFC and RUPP partnership provides TFC Fellows with the opportunity to combine their classroom teaching, TFC’s professional training and coaching, and RUPP master-level studies, towards qualification for a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.
“The day that our children reach their full potentials will be the day that Cambodia unleashes her full potentials and becomes a might and well-developed nation,” said Siv Monirath. “We had our glorious history to prove that,” he added.
About Teach For Cambodia
Teach For Cambodia is a homegrown not-for-profit organization that supports exceptional Cambodian youth to become leaders through a two-year Leadership Development Program in public schools. More than 30 youth leaders in Cambodia have joined the TFC Fellowship in 2018 directly impacting over 5,000 children in public schools. Prior to the Fellowship, they were fresh university graduates, existing teachers, working professionals in engineering, information technology, psychology, social work, chemistry, professional communications, education, law, and more. Leveraging insights from 50 countries as a member of the global Teach For All network, Teach For Cambodia is able to accelerate local impact through the learnings of network partners.
About Royal University of Phnom Penh & Faculty of Education
The Royal University of Phnom Penh is the oldest and biggest public university which builds knowledge, skills, values and attitudes of all students equipping them with entrepreneurship and innovation skills, cross-cultural competence and employability skills.
RUPP’s Faculty of Education provides master to doctoral degrees in the fields of educational studies, higher educational studies and lifelong learning and is a space for innovation in these areas. The faculty is fully committed to help MoEYS in every possible means.