Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia
Development and implementation of MLE
policy in Cambodia’s highland provinces
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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Contents
1. Geography of Cambodia
2. Recent history of Cambodia
3. Education system
4. Problems faced by ethnic minorities in accessing education
5. How was MLE developed?
6. Why is MLE status needed?
7. Why is a legal status of MLE needed?
8. How was the legal status accomplished?
9. Cambodia’s model of MLE
10. Successes
11. Challenges and recommendations
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and
Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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1 Geography of Cambodia
• South-East Asia
• Borders shared with
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam
• Capital: Phnom Penh
• Population:14+ million
• Ethnic minorities: 1+%
(Excluding the Cham,
Vietnamese and Laotians)
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and
Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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Ethnic minorities in north-eastern Cambodia
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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2 Recent Cambodian history
Affected by war for 4 decades:
• Vietnam war (1955-1975)
• Civil war from 1970 - 1975
• Khmer Rouge 1975-1979
• After Khmer Rouge 1980-1998
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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3 Education System
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Civil war destroyed education: teachers, textbooks and
school infrastructure
From 1980 Cambodia had to rebuild education and its
school infrastructure
County-wide education situation
• Preschools are increasing
• 97% enrollment in primary education
• Focus on quality improvement at primary schools
• Focus on increasing enrolment at secondary schools
• Focus on improving higher education
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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4 Problems faced by ethnic minorities in
accessing education
• Teaching materials and text books are in a
language the students do not understand.
Lessons ignore the students’ own knowledge
and experiences and give the impression that
only the dominant language and culture are
important.
• Many ethnic minority children, especially those
in remote areas, have no access to schools at all,
have schools but no teachers
• If there are schools and teachers, the teachers
unlikely to share the students’ social and cultural
background or to speak the students’ language.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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Education for ethnic minorities
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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5 How was MLE developed in Cambodia in NFE
and formal education?
• Collaboration between community elders, local
government representatives and the NGO
community
• Using the Khmer script (national language) to
develop orthographies in previously unwritten
ethnic minority languages
• Support from international and national
linguistics experts in orthography development
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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6 Why is a formal status of MLE needed?
• MLE is a new concept for Cambodia
• To address government and public concerns:
- Establishment of independent indigenous state
- Empowerment of indigenous people can be felt
as a threat by government officials
• To ensure maintenance of culture and language
• Government officials need clear guidance for
implementation
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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7 What is the legal status of MLE in Cambodia?
• Five indigenous scripts approved (MoEYS 2002)
• Education Law (Council of Ministers 2007)
• Indigenous Development Policy (Council of
Ministers 2009)
• MLE becomes part of CFS Policy (MoEYS 2009)
• MLE Guidelines (MoEYS 2010)
• Decree of Identification of Languages for Khmer
National Learners Who Are Indigenous People,
(MoEYS, 2013)
• MLE included in Education Sector Plan 20142018
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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7.1 Education Law Article 24:
Languages of teaching and learning
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Khmer language is the principal language of
instruction and it must be a basic study
program in public schools.
For private schools, there must be a Khmer
language study program as a basic subject.
Language use for Cambodians from ethnic
minority groups shall be determined by the
proclamation of the Ministry in charge of
education.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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7.2 Indigenous Minority Development Policy (2009):
Article 2.3
• Non-Formal Education is established in order to
improve and strengthen the knowledge, culture,
and language of illiterate Indigenous Minority
people including out-of-school youth, to increase
literacy and to develop capacity in life skills and
vocational skills.
• Non-formal education includes classes in literacy,
math, life skills, social work skills, and basic
education for those not enrolled in school.
• Text books will need to be developed up to grade 4
in two languages: Khmer and the vernacular
language.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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7.3 MLE Decree (2013)
MLE guidance has upgrade to Prakas (Decree)
to identification of languages for Khmer national learners
who are indigenous people
With 11 articles
• MLE is conducted at community and public schools, a bridge
for them to learn Khmer language and a place where Khmer
national learners who are indigenous people are learning.
• Curriculum and textbooks for MLE shall be approved by the
MoEYS
• Teaching methodologies for MLE shall be approved by the
MoEYS
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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7.3 MLE Decree (2013)
Continuing…
• At the end of the each academic year, a test shall be
carried out in order to measure students’ capacities for
language knowledge in line with the language
knowledge standard as provided for in the annex of the
Prakas.
• The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport; relevant
authorities at all levels and relevant communities shall
monitor and evaluate the MLE implementation at the
MLE project site at least two (2) times per year and
shall regularly make a report on the monitoring and
evaluation results in a timely manner.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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7.4 MLE Guidelines (2010)
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Establishment of school boards
Roles and responsibilities of school boards
School preparations and school buildings
School calendars
Teacher selection and teacher training
Teacher stipends
Curriculum materials
MLE model
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and
Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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8 How was the legal status accomplished?
• Working and learning together (Government and
NGOs)
• Producing quality indigenous minority education
• MLE materials edited and approved by MoEYS
• National textbooks approval committee
• New education office in the Ministry to oversee MLE
• Sub-national MLE replicating teams
• Spelling systems using the Khmer alphabet have
been developed and approved for 5 ethnic minority
languages in Cambodia
• MLE currently operating in 4 north-east provinces
• Advocacy at sub-national and central government
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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Textbooks approval committee
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and
Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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9 Cambodia’s model of MLE
Preschool
Semester 1 Mother tongue language 100 %
Semester 2 Vernacular language 80%
Khmer 20%
Primary Education
Grade 1 Mother tongue language 80 %
Khmer 20%
Grade 2 Mother tongue language 60 %
Khmer 40%
Grade 3 Mother tongue language 30 %
Khmer 70%
Grade 4 Khmer 100%
Non-Formal Education
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Mother tongue language 90 %
Mother tongue language 50 %
Mother tongue language 10 %
Khmer 10%
Khmer 50%
Khmer 90%
Khmer 100%
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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10 Successes
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Clear MLE management structure at all MoEYS levels
The legal status provides clarity and reassurance for
government officials who implement the program
Addressing the need for indigenous education
Can act as model for other countries
Maintenance of cultures and languages
Experiences in learning and sharing
MoEYS capable of leadership - handover in progress
Students, their parents and their communities
recognize the benefits of the program in helping them
achieve their educational goals
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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11 Challenges and recommendations
Challenges:
• MoEYS changing leadership (retirements)
• Compartmentalization of MoEYS departments
• Quick conclusions on language skills of ethnic
minority communities
Recommendations:
• Create clear road map of implementation
• Keep building human resources at all levels
• Indigenous community is at the core of program
success
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education:
Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia
Thanks you for your attention
អរគុណសម្រាប់ការយកចិត្តទុកដាក់ស្តតប់
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia 4th International Conference on Language and Education: Multilingual
Education for All in Asia and the Pacific, November 2013
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