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Name: Strengthening Math Results and Teaching (SMART)
Location: Provinces Battambang, Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Cham
Implementation: 2017 - 2021
Budget: € 3,868,000
Donor(s): Belgian Federal Government (DGD)
Key themes: Primary education, Teacher Development, Strategic Support


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) is transforming the current 2-year teacher training programme for primary education into a 4-year bachelor programme. The Provincial Teacher Training Centres (PTTC) where the teacher training for primary education is currently delivered and the Regional Teacher Training Centres (RTTC) of Phnom Penh and Battambang will be merged and transformed into Teacher Education Colleges (TEC).

In line with the educational reforms and the upcoming pilot in Battambang and Phnom Penh to upgrade the teacher training to a Bachelor’s degree, VVOB Cambodia made the decision to implement the programme first in Phnom Penh and Battambang. In a later phase of the programme implementation, the teacher training programmes in Kandal and Kampong Cham will be supported.

VVOB will support teacher trainers and model teachers in different ways to:

  • upgrade their content knowledge of mathematics
  • upgrade their pedagogical skills in primary school mathematics
  • integrate the STEM approach into their mathematics teaching
  • upgrade their classroom management
  • deliver differentiated instruction taking the learning difficulties of slow learners into account

The directors of the TECs and the practice schools will also receive support to:

  • strengthen their competences in supporting teaching performance and teachers' professional development
  • integrate a gender focus in their colleges and schools
  • integrate an environment focus in their colleges and schools


Newly graduated primary school teachers from 4 TECs have the competences to improve the quality of teaching and learning in mathematics for all children in primary schools.

The direct target groups of the programme:

  • teacher trainers at the TECs
  • model teachers at the practice schools
  • TEC directors
  • practice school directors
  • MoEYS staff


Strategic partner

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS)

Operational partners

  • Teacher Training Department (TTD) that supports and supervises the TECs
  • Primary Education Department (PED) that supports and supervises the practice schools


This programme aims to reach three main objectives:

  • TECs offer upgraded pre-service gender sensitive and level appropriate training in mathematics.
  • TECs offer upgraded pre-service training for student teachers taking into account the different learning levels of all pupils, through effective classroom management.
  • TECs and practice schools have an increased focus on teaching performance, gender and environment.

The programme is implemented in three phases:

  • During the first phase (2017-2018) the programme develops the capacity of the task forces. These task force members are appointed by the MoEYS. Composed of specialists in the different programme topics they will bring together a variety of knowledge, skills and experience to develop creative and high standard teaching materials, manuals and teaching methodologies.
  • In a second phase (2018-2019) the task forces will train and coach the target groups in Battambang and Phnom Penh.
  • In the last phase (2020-2021) the trainings and coaching support is expanded to the target groups in Kandal and Kampong Cham.

Structural cooperation

The programme receives technical support from Flemish partner institutions:

  • Karel De Grote University College on strengthening classroom management, differentiation and teacher professional development.
  • VIVES University College on STEM-oriented mathematics teaching and action-research.
  • LUCA School of Arts on deeper math-learning through the integration of arts.
  • Artevelde University College on strengthening mentoring and teaching practice.
  • KU Leuven on strengthening programme research and evidence gathering.