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After one year in the MoEYS-VVOB collaborative programme 2014-2016, it is of great value to take some time to reflect. Therefore VVOB Cambodia invited the partners for an annual review meeting. It took place on Monday December 1st 2014. The main purpose of the this meeting was to track the progress in 2014 towards achieving the end results, to identify the challenges of the programme and to document and apply the lessons learnt.

To achieve strengthened mathematics and science education and teaching practicum in the 18 Teacher Training Centres in Cambodia three core teams have been installed. These core teams consist of Ministry of Education staff members, directors and teacher trainers of the teacher training centres.

In the morning core team members provided input for the planning of 2015. In the afternoon they presented the results of the discussions on lessons learnt and planning 2015 to the director and deputy director of the curriculum development and primary education department, members of the Teacher Training Department, directors of Teacher Training Centres and the other core team members. A summary of the outcomes is presented here.

Actions that contributed most to reach the objectives in 2014

The three core teams (mathematics, science and teaching practicum) separately discussed on actions that contributed most to reach the set out objectives in 2014. The following actions were mentioned by all three groups.

  • Establishment of core teams consisting of Ministry staff, directors and teacher trainers have meetings on a regular basis;
  • Making a joint action plan based on a baseline survey and lesson observations;
  • Harvesting related documents to mentoring and teaching practicum, and existing documents for mathematics and science and build on that;
  • Manual development based on input training from Flemish partners (Odisee, University of Leuven and Artevelde University College);
  • Study visit for the core team mathematics and teaching practicum to the National Institute of Education Singapore to compare mathematics education and teaching practicum between Singapore and Cambodia;
  • Study visit for the science core team members to learn from different science institutions in Thailand.

Lessons learnt

When asked what could be improved in 2015 most core team members mention that the agenda of the core team meetings is too full. They suggest to meet more often. To reach the objectives within a 3-years programme is a challenge, but VVOB also doesn’t want to take away the core team members from their regular work too often. It is important to find the right balance between the number of meetings, the regular work and to keep the number of agenda topics realistic. Some core team members mention they would not object to do some “homework”. Revision of documents can be done prior the core team meetings so discussions during the actual meeting can be faster.

Suggested capacity development methods

In 2015 all teacher trainers, academic staff of 18 Teacher Training Centres, as well as staff from Provincial Offices of Education and the Ministry’s Teacher Training Department will receive a training on mentoring and feedback skills. Additionally all mathematics and science teacher trainers will receive training to strengthen their pedagogical content knowledge. Apart from training, the core teams made the following suggestions for capacity development methods for 2015:

  • More input training from Flemish partners is very welcome;
  • Study visits that allow the core team members and teacher trainers to practice and broaden their knowledge;
  • The importance of follow up visits in the Provincial Teacher Training Centres and practice schools to monitor the implementation of the new knowledge and skills was mentioned;
  • Open classrooms once per semester, where teachers create lessons and invite colleagues to observe the lesson and provide feedback in a post-observation session;
  • Incorporate lesson studies in technical meetings to practice more on making lesson studies and receive peer feedback;
  • Form a study group at the start of the academic year;
  • A self-assessment to reflect on the individual competences and detect the strengths and areas for improvement.
  • These suggestions are very useful and will be taken into account for the activities planning 2015-2016.


Finally, during the meeting VVOB also wanted to measure to what extent the core team members feel they are able and confident to build the capacity of others. Self-assessment was used as a tool. Although self-assessment involves a risk of socially desirable responding we feel that in this case the outcome is truthful.

Core Team members were asked to fill in “a confidence meter”. They could state with a percentage from 0 to 100% how confident they are about giving a good training to colleagues on mentoring, mathematics or science. They also listed why they gave themselves that score and what would help them to reach a higher level of confidence. The meter was filled in with the necessary attention and the questions were answered in a positive self-critical and truthful manner. 90% of the core team members are confident enough to provide knowledge and skills to others, but say they need more coaching during facilitation. Even so they prefer also more input during 2015, which will be provided. The honest message of a substantial part of the core team members that they are not yet entirely ready to give a qualitative training to their colleagues and need more coaching during the facilitation of their lessons, is also a lesson that self-assessments are useful and can give essential information for planning.

Level of confidence Number Core
Team Members
0-25 % I am not confident at all that I will be able to give a good training. I need a lot more training and more practice myself to feel confident. 0 0
26-50% I don’t feel confident enough to already give a training myself. With just a bit more training and practice, I will be confident enough to give a training and then grow further with time. 3 10
51-65% I feel confident enough to give a training but I need close-up coaching in the beginning and time to practice and grow. 17 59
66-85% I feel confident enough to give a good training. With some feedback from time to time and good coaching tips I will improve my teaching skills even more. 18 28
86-100% I am very confident that I will give a really good training. I know in which aspects I can still grow and I know how to improve these. 1 3
Total 29 100