Teaching and learning in public schools during the 2021-2022 school year

The day of the start of the new school year marks the beginning of school life for children who have just reached school age and the return of all students in the country to school.

Each year, the new academic year normally begins on October 1 in general public education institutions. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) has over the past two years rearranged the school year calendar.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, studies in general public education establishments ended on December 18, 2021 in accordance with notification no. 85 from the Ministry of National Education dated November 23, 2021.

This article focuses on the teaching and learning processes in general public education institutions for the 2021-2022 school year, based on the guidelines for the opening of preschool and early childhood education services. childhood, public primary and secondary schools for the 2021-2022 school year. .

In the 2021-2022 school year, the educational process in general public education in kindergarten, primary and secondary education continues to focus on the implementation of the five components of child development, child-friendly school policies and student learning outcomes.

This is to ensure quality education in an equitable and inclusive environment and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, in line with the aims and objectives of the education reform and the strategic plan education.

Based on the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic nationwide, as well as the announcement of the socio-economic reopening in the new normal and the implementation recommended by Prime Minister Techo Hun Sen , the MoEYS has published three guidelines:

• Directive n°88 of 20 December 2021 on “the opening of kindergarten and early childhood education services during the 2021-2022 school year”;

• Directive no. 84 of 17 December 2021 relating to “the opening of public primary education establishments during the academic year 2021-2022”;

• Directive n°86 of 17 December 2021 relating to “the opening of public general secondary education establishments during the academic year 2021-2022.

Through these three guidelines, the MoEYS for K-12 public educational institutions has scheduled January 10, 2022 as the start date and October 31, 2022 as the closing date for the 2021-2022 school year, at during which there will be two holidays.

The short holidays will take place from April 6 to 19, while the long holidays will take place from November 1 to 30 for nursery and primary levels, and from November 1 to December 31 for general public education establishments.

The MoEYS has tasked all education, youth and sports departments in the capital and province, municipal, district and communal offices of education, youth and sports, and kindergarten and early childhood, primary and secondary public institutions to implement several tasks during the 2021-2022 school year. These include:

• The school opening ceremony;
• The sterilization of educational establishments;
• Administrative management of the school;
• Management of teaching and learning;
• Staff management;
• Financial direction;
• Monitoring and evaluation;
• Program performance;
• Tasks during the holidays.

Tasks related to the learning and teaching process for kindergarten and early childhood education services, public elementary and secondary schools to be implemented during the 2021-2022 school year include:

Reinforcement of hygiene in maternal and early childhood education services, primary and secondary schools by establishing new hygiene practices in their establishments in accordance with the “Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of establishments of teaching in the context of Covid-19” (published October 7, 2020) of the MoEYS published in August 2020, and in particular to strengthen the efforts of the Ministry of Health to prevent and respond to the transmission of Covid-19.

Teaching and learning according to the new standard for kindergarten and early childhood education services must focus on the application of the fundamental principles of preschool programs, such as:

• Teaching and learning must follow the fundamentals of student-centred and blended principles;

• Teaching and learning must take place through play and cooperation;

• Children are given confidence, encouragement and responsibility to learn safely and comfortably;

• Quality interactive learning techniques enabling children to acquire new knowledge, skills and attitudes from their learning environment;

• Children are responsible for building their capacities, with teachers as mentors and facilitators for children to learn better;

• Lesson plans should follow mixed teaching methods;

• Establish an effective mechanism for monitoring children’s learning;

• Teaching and learning should operate across age and culture, and with equality;

• Teaching and learning should be practical and scientific;

• Schools and teachers need to interact with parents, communities and local authorities.

The Kindergarten Management Committee will guide and review the timetables and programs disseminated by the MoEYS in relation to the teaching of each subject and grade level.

Group study or blended learning for public secondary schools must go through:

• Assessment of the study area to prepare teaching and learning mechanisms, and to prepare specific plans with the approval of the local capital and the provincial authority;

• Establishment of the school management committee with the participation of the local authority to provide information;

• Organize group studies on a rotating basis to facilitate the teaching and management process;

• Pursue blended learning methods, such as online courses, provide materials and classroom learning with the division of study teams and groups, and practice hygiene measures regularly;

• Encourage e-learning students to use video tutorials and worksheets available on Telegram, websites or mobile apps;

• Continue to implement blended learning methods using electronic devices that allow teachers to teach live and provide opportunities for students to practice self-study using textbooks and electronic devices ;

• Conduct comprehensive testing and evaluation of student performance with monthly, quarterly, and annual tests.

In addition, public secondary and primary schools should implement distance learning courses through video tutorials and other materials provided by the Ministry of Education and partner organizations, and promote distance education. remotely via official MoEYS media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, TV and official apps. to provide more knowledge to students.

Teachers should continue to distribute weekly take-home worksheets for self-study and comprehensive assessment of student performance by collecting, reviewing/correcting assignments and providing feedback on a regular basis.

Curriculum Implementation

Kindergartens and standard community kindergartens must carry out comprehensive teaching and learning for 35 weeks, which is equivalent to 1,015 hours of study per school year and 30 hours of study per week, with one session learning time equal to 30 minutes, in accordance with the MoEYS Kindergarten Detailed Curriculum.

Meanwhile, atypical community kindergartens should continue to implement 20 hours of study per week, or implement a detailed program for the 2021 community kindergarten year depending on the actual situation.

Government primary schools must have prepared in accordance with the MoEYS Core Curriculum. Some basic subjects, which are optional subjects in the academic year 2020-2021, must be completed in the first and second months of the new academic year in order to complete the additional knowledge on these subjects.

Meanwhile, the implementation of the public primary school curriculum is expected to focus on revising core subjects, such as Khmer language and mathematics, with five hours a day or 25-27 hours a week having been taught in January. and February 2022.

From March, teaching and learning will follow the normal curriculum (all subjects) for five hours a day or 25-27 hours a week.

Public secondary schools must be prepared in accordance with the MoEYS Core Curriculum. However, some core subjects, which are optional subjects in the 2020-2021 academic year, must be completed in the first and second months of the new academic year in order to provide additional knowledge on these subjects.

These three guidelines have defined detailed activities for the above points and have been widely disseminated to all capital and provincial directorates of education, youth and sports, public kindergartens and all education service actors. early childhood, public primary schools and public secondary schools for more effective implementation. .

The Ministry of Education again calls on the public, education personnel, teachers, students and all stakeholders to continue to promote health and hygiene in the context of Covid-19 by consistently using SOPs to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in educational institutions.

The MoEYS also asks them to participate in the dissemination and implementation of Directive No. 88 of December 20, 2021 on “opening of kindergarten and early childhood education services during the year school year 2021-2022; Directive n°84 of December 17, 2021 relating to “the opening of public primary schools during the 2021-2022 school year”; and Directive No. 86 of 17 December 2021 on “the opening of general public secondary education establishments during the academic year 2021-2022” for the proper functioning and success of the learning and teaching process during the academic year 2021-2022.

All the actors concerned must continue to effectively apply the legal texts of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports which are still in force.

Norma A. Roth