UNESCO Says COVID-19 Affects 113,000 School Personnel

AKP Phnom Penh, October 05, 2020 —

While the world, including Cambodia is celebrating today the Word Teacher’s Day, UNESCO said Cambodian education sector is one of the affected-sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement released on Oct. 5, UNESCO affirmed that COVID-19 affected nearly 1.6 billion learners at all levels and 63 million primary and secondary teachers in more than 190 countries.

In Cambodia alone, it added, there have been 113,000 school personnel, of them 93,225 teachers, were affected.

“Following school closures on Mar. 16, 2020 and the launch of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS)’s continuous learning programme, teachers rose to the challenge. Within a very short period of time, teachers, the frontline workers of the education sector, had to adopt to new, challenging methods of teaching and learning – incorporating distance learning methods into their practice and making home-visits to their students to ensure they continue to learn. The crisis reminded us of the essential role of teachers and how governments and key partners have an ongoing duty of care to education personnel,” the statement said.

In this context, it continued, the Royal Government of Cambodia’s MoEYS gives top priority to a highly qualified and motivated teacher workforce as a key factor in improving the quality of teaching and learning. With financial support from Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Capacity Development for Education Programme (CapED) Programme, the MoEYS with technical support from UNESCO, is implementing one of the largest teacher focused initiatives in Cambodia, Strengthening Teacher Education Programmes in Cambodia (STEPCam).

This year, World Teacher’s Day’s national theme is “Smart Teachers for Digital Education”, which is in line with the international theme, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”, to highlight the critical leadership role teachers played during the current crisis.

By Heng Panha