Country’s Best Teachers, Principals and Schools Awarded

Ol Mary is the third winner of the Good Teacher award, from Hun Sen Kampong Cham high school. Photo provided

The Hun Sen Awards honored best principals and teachers across Cambodia

PHNOM PENH – Eighteen teachers and principals and five schools received the Hun Sen award for Best Principal, Good Teacher, Good Khmer Language and Mathematics Teacher in grade 1, 2 and 3, and awards for the Best School in the academic year 2020-2021.

The winning teachers pledged to double their efforts to find new teaching ideas, activities, and styles in order to share and train young children to be future leaders. 

Pech Sophorn, the fifth winner of the Good Khmer Language Teacher award, from Chea Sim primary school in Battambang province, said that through her ability to teach students and prepare class with extra activities, she could see herself competing with other great teachers from different provinces.

“Through this program, I wanted to challenge myself and see what my value was compared to other teachers. Receiving this award will create a good image for my family, my school, my educational department, and my province,” she said.

Even though Sophorn got only a fifth place in her category, winning a $650 grant, she devoted her time and effort to achieve this award.

“I am really proud of myself and very excited to receive this award, which recognizes me as a good Khmer language teacher,” she said. 

Sophorn added that it was not easy to get the award since the criteria and judging process were difficult.

She said she needed to know technology, the education ministry’s strategy, a good method of teaching, the different equipment required for teaching, and good relations with students and parents.

She committed herself to finding new teaching techniques, activities and styles so that young children could become future leaders, she said.

Sophorn encouraged other teachers to strengthen their ability to teach to promote Cambodian education.

“Without passion, how can someone become a good teacher,” she asked. “This awards event can fuel their passion for educational empowerment,” she said. 

Ol Mary, third winner of the Good Teacher award, from Hun Sen Kampong Cham high school, said that she was interested in gathering the honors and benefits such a competition provides to the winners. She also received encouragement from many students.

However, Mary said that due to her hectic schedule of teaching, she could only prepare the documents to apply for the competition during nighttime, bringing a time management challenge to her candidacy.

“Despite the many criteria to apply and win an award, I had high hopes, thanks to my teaching experience. I also received huge support from the school director and deputy director, who strongly believed that I could pass,” she said.

The selection was based on 10 criteria: qualifications, basic knowledge of information technology and telecommunications, leadership and management skills, research and innovation, communication skills, student achievement, observation of teaching and learning, professional ethics, youth development as well as a video recording of teaching and learning activities and daily work activities.

“This trophy really means a lot to me”

After being selected, the teacher had to conduct a live teaching session observed by the committee of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The committee then interviewed teachers about their teaching daily work, teaching methods, and education policy, she said.

Pech Sophorn is the fifth winner of the Good Khmer Language Teacher award, from Chea Sim primary school in Battambang province. Photo provided

She went on to say that it’s a great program that encourages school principals and teachers who have worked hard in the past, to get recognition for their efforts. It also brings more satisfaction to their daily work. 

“I am very proud that I have a career as a teacher.” Mary said, “Today is the day that the Ministry of Education, Kampong Cham Provincial Department of Education, school principals, deputy principals, other teachers from the school and my students’ parents officially recognize that I meet all the criteria to be a good teacher.”

“This trophy really means a lot to me,” she exults.

She is strongly determined to continue her mission and enhance more creative teaching so that students get appropriate knowledge, in accordance with the objectives of the lesson.

“For the rest of my life, I will share my experiences with other teachers about teaching methods as well as teaching techniques to push students to learn more while enjoying learning with us,” she said.

Speaking after she won the Best Teacher award, she would like to encourage all teachers to improve their capacity to build good relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and the school to apply for the Good Teacher contest.

A career as a teacher is good, she said, but the symbol of winning a Hun Sen award, which is highly valued by the Ministry, is very meaningful.

She wishes to see the education sector reach a level where students can participate in national and international programs, potentially winning good grades, good morals, and good jobs to suit the current job market. 

At the same time, she would like to see teachers, schools, parents, students, and all stakeholders fulfill their duties for the benefit of students as a whole.

The award ceremony was held on April 27, on the third day of the conference to review the results of education, youth, and sports for the academic year 2020-2021.

The five schools that received the best school awards are Svay Rieng High School, Wat Cheng Primary school in Battambang Province, Korng Chey primary school in Kampong Cham province, and Hun Sen Mittapheap Primary School and High School in Sihanoukville, and Downtown Secondary School in Kampong Speu Province.

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