Schools for Children of Cambodia

Working with communities to improve access to and quality of education in Cambodia
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Valuing Teachers Report

In December 2008, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and NGO Education Partnership (NEP) launched Teaching Matters: A Policy Report on the Motivation and Morale of Teachers in Cambodia.  The report is a result of surveys and focus group discussions with hundreds of teachers across Cambodia, which identify the issues affecting teachers' motivation, morale and performance.  Schools for Children of Cambodia actively supported the valuing teachers study by facilitating NEP researchers to survey, meet with and interview 43 teachers at the schools we serve.   

The study finds that teachers in Cambodia perceive themselves to be underpaid, under-supported and working in under-resourced schools.  Teachers' biggest de-motivating factor is their low salary (USD$30 - 60 /month), which requires most of them (93% of interviewees) to hold second jobs.  Other dissatisfiers, in order of importance, are corruption and nepotism, poor leadership and lack of voice.  While Cambodia's Ministry of Education is the greatest source of dissatisfaction for teachers (namely for low wages), the management of the schools themselves is a very close second.  This suggests that sustainable improvements at the school and community levels -- through improved director leadership and performance and increased community involvement, for example -- can positively affect teacher motivation. 

Teaching Matters, which offers recommendations to the government on ways to improve teacher motivation and participation, has been presented to and accepted by HE Im Sethy, Cambodia's Minister of Education, and HE Nath Bunrouen, the Secretary of State for Education.  Key recommendations to the government include:
  • Increase the salaries of teachers, school directors and staff of the provincial and district offices of education to a level appropriate to the cost of living
  • Train in leadership skills at all levels
  • Strengthen links and dialogue mechanisms between all education stakeholders
  • Strengthen quality assurance processes at all levels within the education sector
  • Develop reliable, effective data systems for education statistics to enable better planning and provision of resources, thereby helping to support teachers
  • Promote the value of quality education to parents and communities
  • Pass and implement the anti-corruption law

SCC envisions a day when every Cambodian child will have access to a free, quality education.  SCC's continued cooperation with the wider education NGO community to support initiatives like this valuing teachers study is an impactful and sustainable approach to realising this vision.