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Name: Early Grade Mathematics: Bridging initial and continued teacher training
Location: Siem Reap Province
Implementation: 2018 - 2019
Budget: € 70,000
Donor(s): UNESCO - CAP-ED
Key themes: Early grades, Primary education, Teacher Development


VVOB Cambodia is the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) preferred partner for its mathematics expertise. Upon the MoEYS' recommendation and request, in 2018 UNESCO partnered up with VVOB to improve how teachers teach maths.UNESCO is acting as the grand agent of the General Partnership for Education (GPE3) programme in Cambodia.

The results of Cambodia’s program (GPE 3, period 2018-2021) will be achieved through two distinct components: a fixed component of US$14.4 million, which supports the strengthening teacher education program in Cambodia (STEPCam), and a variable component of US$6.2 million that is linked to the achievement of specific results to improve education equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.

MoEYS’ main priority is to improve the quality of education. This is reflected in the Teacher Policy Action plan (TPAP) that and focuses on continuous professional development of early grade teachers and their trainers throughout their career. Based on the TPAP and other educational reforms a trajectory has been set out to upgrade teaching skills of existing teachers. A cascade model is developed to ensure that in the next 3 years, teachers in 5 provinces will have upgraded their teaching skills in mathematics. VVOB Cambodia was invited to develop an inset package for early grade mathematics grade 1, which is tested in the provincial teacher training center in Siem Reap. The inset training package will be rolled out over 30 districts in 5 northern provinces within the next 2 two years. As such, more and more learners will be able to benefit from improved math teaching. 


  • Teacher trainers have the competences to provide quality mathematics training to grade 1 teachers, based on the newly developed maths teacher guide.
  • Grade 1 teachers have the competences to improve the quality of teaching and learning mathematics.

The direct target groups of the programme:

  • a core team of math experts selected by the MoEYS
  • a team of teacher trainers from the provincial teacher training centers
  • grade 1 teachers at the primary schools
  • school leaders at the primary schools
  • District and Provincial Education Officers (DOE and POE)


Strategic partner

  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS)

Operational partners

  • Primary Education Department (PED) that supports and supervises the primary schools
  • See Beyond Borders
  • RTI

Objectives and Activities

This project aims to reach following main objectives:

  • Developed a Grade 1 package based on recommendations agreed by VVOB, MoEYS core team and UNESCO
  • Strengthened capacity of the core team
  • Strengthened capacity of teacher trainers
  • Strengthened capacity of teachers (and school leaders) trough coaching and mentoring of trainers

The project reaches these objectives through following activities:

  • Development of a Grade 1 package consisting of a teacher guide for grade 1 and a training manual for trainers
  • To build the capacity and ensure sustainability, VVOB trains a national core team and teacher trainers on how to train teachers in using the grade 1 math teacher guide
  • To ensure quality implementation of the training, VVOB provides mentoring and coaching during the trainings (and organisation of the trainings)


The guide as well as the collection of teaching aids are divided into two parts in line with the goals and objectives of the revised math curriculum – approved in 2018 – for the first and second semester.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, the new grade 1 mathematics INSET package brings together best practices in math teaching. It ensures participatory methods that can be used in teaching mathematics, through creatively using an affordable amount of teaching and learning aids. The package compiles strategies and teaching methods that encourage active learning, while ensuring equity and quality of learning.

It also includes a collection of outcome-focused teaching and learning activities, which have been adapted to the developmental stage of the child. Finally, the package introduces teachers to the practice of formative assessment, helping them to prepare more effective lessons by building upon their learners’ prior knowledge.