Workshop on ECCE Curriculum Development Establishment Early Childhood bachelor’s degree in Cambodia

SEAMEO CECCEP collaborated with the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) Cambodia, to organize a workshop on the Development of Early Childhood Education (ECCE) Curriculum to establish a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education in Cambodia. The event was attended by 40 prospective lecturers from higher education institutions in Cambodia and MoEYS Cambodia, conducted through a Zoom meeting on December 12-13, 2023. The workshop aimed to initiate the establishment of a new bachelor's program in the field of Early Childhood Education and enhance the qualifications and competencies of high-quality ECCE teachers and services.

In his opening remarks, Prof. H.E Dar. Set Seng, Director of Phnom Penh Teacher Education College (PTEC), expressed gratitude to SEAMEO CECCEP for assisting in initiating the Early Childhood Education bachelor's program. He was pleased to collaborate with SEAMEO CECCEP and hoped that the workshop could be well attended by participants to develop a curriculum applicable in Cambodia.

Prof. Vina Adriany, Ph.D., emphasized the importance of supporting the improvement of the quality of early childhood education, including the enhancement of the quality of early childhood education teachers. Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the future generations. Improving the quality and well-being of teachers is a vital step towards better education. Qualified teachers create a positive learning environment and have a long-term impact on student development. They are enthusiastic about collaboration and initiatives to develop the well-being and quality of teachers in Cambodia.

This was supported by a statement from Mr. H.E Park Kosal, MoEYS Leader, Cambodia, expressing commitment to continued collaboration to enhance cooperation in developing early childhood care education teachers. The workshop was deemed highly important for its potential future application in Cambodia.

The speakers in this event included Prof. Marek Tesar (University of Auckland), Prof. Sofia Hartati (Universitas Negeri Jakarta), and Alma Ruby C. Torio (Department of Education, Philippines). Participants of the Workshop on ECCE Curriculum Development by SEAMEO CECCEP, higher education institutions in Cambodia, and MoEYS Cambodia. Prof. Marek Tesar highlighted that the curriculum development process involves assessing needs, engaging stakeholders, and continuous evaluation. The integration of local cultural context in the curriculum design respects the cultural diversity of Cambodia. This initiative envisions the long-term sustainability of early childhood education, considering scale and financial aspects. Additionally, involving all stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, international organizations, and local communities, is crucial for the success and impact of the program.

To support the establishment of the Early Childhood Education bachelor's program, Alma Ruby C. Torio, Assistant Secretary from the Bureau of Curriculum Development, shared practices in curriculum implementation in the Philippines. The Department of Education in the Philippines has a mandate to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all. She also shared information about Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in the Philippines, which includes programs such as Child Development Centers, Preschools, and Kindergarten.

Prof. Sofia Hartati from Universitas Negeri Jakarta presented on Building Foundations: The Journey to Establish an Academic Program for Early Childhood Teacher Education in Indonesia. She explained the importance of a Bachelor's degree in early childhood education, including professional competencies, the legal obligation to establish the early childhood education program, and specialized training in curriculum development, classroom management, and assessment methods tailored to the unique needs of young children.

The bold steps taken by Cambodia not only reflected a strong commitment to providing high-quality early childhood education but also recognized its significant positive impact on child development and the future of the nation. The establishment of a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education is expected to set new standards for education in Cambodia and contribute meaningfully to the overall growth and well-being of early childhood education in the country.

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