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Educators Renew Focus on STEM Curriculum


Menh Sok Searn, center, is one of STEM Ambassadors in Cambodia. (Courtesy photo)

Menh Sok Searn, center, is one of STEM Ambassadors in Cambodia. (Courtesy photo)

Cambodian educators say they are working on improving studies in science, technology, engineering and math.

Cambodian educators say they are working on improving studies in science, technology, engineering and math.

These so-called STEM skills are typically poorly studied in the Cambodian school system, but educators say they will be necessary for successful job skills in the future.

Ros Salin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education, said STEM skills will soon be added to the nation’s education curriculum, starting in primary school. “The more kids understand what STEM is, the more they will choose STEM as their career when they grow up,” he said.

Private education institutions are also focusing more on STEM. Meng Hieng, CEO of Kid City, said his institution has created courses that use equipment and entertaining curriculum for science studies.

A student holding is seen holding a “STEM Careers of the Future” guide book in Phnom Penh on Feb 17, 2016. (Hean Socheata/ VOA Khmer)

A student holding is seen holding a “STEM Careers of the Future” guide book in Phnom Penh on Feb 17, 2016. (Hean Socheata/ VOA Khmer)

“To make STEM a success, we need to make the kids like, be happy with, and want to join in science and its activities,” he said.

The Ministry of Education, with the support of the UK Embassy and an educational consulting firm called IDP, has recruited 68 “ambassadors” to raise awareness and inspire young people to study STEM subjects.

Cambodia’s labor market will need people with these skills in a more competitive market, as ASEAN countries integrate further. Von Seymao, marketing manager for IDP, said STEM studies should start when students are young. “The earlier the better.”

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