Government teacher trainers from 11 cities and provinces, 23 females amongst 33 participants, joined OIC Cambodia’s training on Communication in Inclusive Education from 04 to 07 June, at the Department of Special Education in Phnom Penh.
The 33 trainees included focal trainers from each provincial education office. The objective of the training was to build the capacity of focal trainers to train and support preschool teachers in the province, to facilitate quality, inclusive education for children with communication difficulties.
In her welcome remark, Ms. Chenda, the Executive Director of OIC Cambodia, highlighted the importance of communication in Inclusive Education and the need for capacity building of early childhood teachers.
Build capacity of the pre-school teacher is one of OIC’s core strategy activity to support children with communication difficulties within their classrooms; this assists to national education strategic plan and framework towards promoting Inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all children in Cambodia.
To enable the development of high-quality Cambodian speech therapy profession, we are currently working to establish a college on Speech Therapy in Cambodia, and promoting the awareness of the service provision and its need within the community and other relevant stakeholders and government. “OIC Cambodia will exit when 100 Cambodians university qualified speech therapists are integrated into Cambodia’s public sector by 2030,” said Ms. Chenda.
In 2008 the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) developed a policy on Children with disabilities, which was revised to Inclusive Education Policy in 2018.
“According to the need of MoEYS and Special Education Department for the training, is to have basic knowledge, since now we have no project and experiences on Communication to help children who are facing communication difficulties at the childhood Education level,” said Mr. Thorng Rithy, Director of Department of Special Education, in the opening remark.
The training was designed to ensure that focal trainers have the knowledge and resources needed to build the capacity of teachers in their local communities. After training, the trainers will contribute to skills and expertise in their local communities through the provision of workshops, information sharing, and monitoring in schools.
“I can now identify the way communication impacts on children who have difficulties and have a better understanding of common disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is? What is Down Syndrome (DNS)? Also, What Cerebral Palsy (CP) is?” said Ms. Thon Sina, a Chief of Provincial Childhood Education Office in Siem Reap.
She added that the unique way in which the training was delivered made participants feel energized and enriched their understanding.
From Sihanouk province, Ms. Em Vutheavy, Chief of childhood education office, was very impressed by the training. “I learned a lot from the experiences of teachers, and the class was designed very comprehensively, with activities, case studies, and opportunities for trainees to solve challenges by themselves.