Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has increased the number of primary schools by 11% in the last decade and the number of pre-schools by 143% over the same period


Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has increased the number of primary schools by 11% in the last decade and the number of pre-schools by 143% over the same period. Now that Cambodia is close to achieving universal access to primary education, the policy focus has shifted towards the provision of quality education.

Well-prepared, qualified and motivated teachers, who continue to update and develop their professional knowledge throughout their careers, are the strongest school-level factor in improving student learning.

GPE has been supporting teacher development in Cambodia through the “Strengthening Teacher Education Programmes in Cambodia” (STEPCam), implemented since 2018.  

Funded by a US$14.4 million grant, STEPCam is one of the largest teacher education programs in Cambodia to support the efforts of the MoEYS to increase the capacity of teachers to improve the quality of primary education.

STEPCam brings together complementary efforts from the ministry, UNESCO and UNICEF, as well as other education development partners including USAID.

STEPCam focuses on a set of interventions across four key components:

  • Development and implementation of a new continuous professional development (CPD) system for teachers. In Cambodia, teachers have almost no opportunities for continued professional growth after they enter the workforce. Now, for the first time, there is an institutionalized national CPD system to support needs-based professional development of teachers. To date, 6,500+ mentors, school directors, and education staff have been trained to support teachers in CPD and transformative pedagogy.
  • In-service training and mentoring support for teachers of early grade mathematics and Khmer language, using new teaching techniques and new teaching and learning materials developed by STEPCam (for math), through a student-centered approach. 4,000 primary school teachers have been trained in early grade Khmer and 3,000 in early grade math. Over 2,300 mentors have been trained to provide ongoing professional support to early grade teachers.
  • Upgrading the qualifications of teacher educators to Bachelor of Education level at Provincial Teacher Training Centres (PTTCs).
  • Renovation of 11 PTTCs, improving the learning environment to better prepare student teachers for teaching in primary school classrooms. It is expected that 249 teacher educators and 1,277 primary school teachers will benefit from the infrastructure improvements annually.

Chhay Kimsak, a teacher at Chambok Haer Primary School, Puok District, is one of the beneficiaries of GPE’s support through STEPCam. Chhay notices that students are more engaged and eager to learn, proving that STEPCam efforts are paying off.

00:00:03 – 00:00:13 – B-roll – Aerial GVs, Puok District, Siem Reap

00:00:13 – 00:00:48 – Chambok Haer Primary School, children arriving

00:00:48 – 00:01:34 – Teacher Chhay Kimsak leads a class

00:01:34 – 00:01:49 – Chhay Kimsak uses the HRCPD (Human Resources and Continuous Professional Development) app developed to provide teachers with continued professional development opportunities to update and develop their competencies

00:01:49 – 00:02:05 – Chhay Kimsak continues her studies and prepares for her next lessons at home

00:02:05 – 00:02:59 – INTV – Chhay Kimsak – Teacher

00:03:02 - 00:03:54 – INTV – El Ang – School Principal

00:03:57 – 00:04:05 – B-roll – Preah Vihear, Provincial Teacher Training Center. Teacher educator Prom Sopheany leads a lesson in the newly upgraded science laboratory

00:04:21 – 00:05:12 – INTV Prom Sopheany – Teacher Educator

00:05:15 – 00:05:55 – Student teachers learn new lesson plans and work in computer lab

00:05:55 – 00:07:14 – INTV – Sa Lina – Student Teacher

Chhay Kimsak - Teacher

00:02:05 The continuous professional development that is called CPD has helped my teaching, through independent learning,

00:02:12 Gaining new experiences and sharing them with one another, and obtaining [CPD] credits to attend training courses that we can check in the system.

00:02:22 And we can also choose to learn courses independently and get to immediately know the training location.

00:02:30 The experiences that I have gained after attending the math training course have given me many tools for teaching. The students have been provided with student books to learn at home.

00:02:45 We have learned many teaching methods from the teacher guide, including learning games that brings [the students] together to learn as a group.

00:02:52 [Students] are divided into groups and given [learning materials], helping [them] to participate more actively.

00:02:59 I have observed tremendous changes among students in my class.

00:03:03 They interact with the teacher, participate in activities, and they are happy with their studies.

00:03:08 They look forward to coming to class.

00:03:21 It’s because we have the teaching methods and games to make them more interested to learn.      


El Ang – School Principal

00:03:20 This Student Tracking System has many advantages to the school, which use this system. They know the information about student, daily record about students' learning, attendance and marks.

00:03:41 Since I obtained this system, I have managed student data better and easier. It is easy to contact the students, generally. 


Prom Sopheany – Teacher Educator

00:04:21 The renovation of the Provincial Teacher Training Centre has helped to improve the status and role of teacher educators.

00:04:29 Another thing, it has attracted more outstanding candidates to take the entrance exams here to become primary school teachers.

00:04:41 For example, in the academic year 2020-2021, the number of applicants who wanted to come to study at the teacher training centre increased dramatically.

00:04:52 Even though there were only 25 posts offered, we received more than 1,000 applicants.

00:05:02 This is the reason that the teacher training centre has attracted outstanding students to study here.


Sa Lina – Student Teacher

00:05:55  Before the renovation, the Provincial Teacher Training Centre was not attractive for students who wanted to come and study to become teachers.

00:06:05 The reason is because it was difficult to both live [on campus] and study.

00:06:08 [Before,] it was difficult to live here because the dormitories could not accommodate [all student teachers] and there were insufficient study materials for us.

00:06:16 It was also difficult to study because there were not enough training tools.

00:06:24 After the launch of the STEPCam project by UNESCO in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and funded by GPE,

00:06:38 The [teacher training centre], including the classrooms and the dormitories, were renovated.

00:06:43 In our dormitories, there has been a lot of improvement.

00:06:46 It has been equipped with modern materials, such as tables, cabinets, beds, kitchen materials and clean bathrooms.

06:29:57 As for the studying, it is really good.

07:00::00 The [campus] has been equipped with ICT equipment, the science laboratory has enough materials for us to learn experiments, and the computer room has many computers that makes it convenient for us to study.

5 October 2022