With support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded Food For Education (FFE) project, World Education, Inc. and local NGO Bandos Komar are working in partnership to implement the new Grade 2 Khmer literacy package in Kampong Chhnang province during the 2021-2022 school year. The FFE project is not only supporting the national rollout of Komar Rien Komar Cheh, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport’s early grade learning package, but it is also largely focused on building the capacity of school directors to support their early grade teachers.
Although school directors are expected to regularly observe their teachers and provide instructional support, this duty is often disregarded. As part of the FFE project, school directors in Kampong Chhnang are receiving training on the Grade 2 Komar Rien Komar Cheh literacy package. The training workshops not only introduce new teaching methods and materials, they also equip school directors with the skills and tools they need to support their Grade 2 teachers. This helps to ensure that Grade 2 teachers are correctly implementing the literacy package and are using the teaching and learning materials effectively.
Ms. Tola is a 37-years-old school director for a primary school in Rolea B’ier district, Kampong Chhnang. Prior to becoming a school director, she worked for 14 years as a primary school teacher. In December 2021, Ms. Tola attended a 2-day training organized by the FFE project. During the training, which focused on the Grade 2 Komar Rien Komar Cheh literacy package, Ms. Tola received instruction on how to observe and support her Grade 2 teachers in their use of the new teaching techniques and materials.
Teacher Observations: Since having attended the training, Ms. Tola has started to regularly observe her teachers. Not only has she demonstrated the use of newskills she gained from the training, like using the new teacher observation form, Ms. Tola also feels more confident in her ability to support her teachers. “I am so glad that I can use these new skills and tools to help my teachers. If I can coach and support my teachers, I think they will be able to teach the new material better. Better teaching will help our students learn and read better,” she explained.
Rapid Tests with Students: After observing the Grade 2 literacy lesson, Ms. Tola conducted a rapid test with four randomly selected students. She took them aside and asked them to read the syllables or phrases on the test sheet. This simple exercise provides a quick and easy assessment of the student’s reading ability. “Conducting the rapid test with students at the end of session was great,” Ms. Tola said. “The teacher and I have discussed the results and we have identified ways to help struggling students,” she added.
Providing Feedback to Teachers: Once Ms. Tola finished conducting the rapid test with students, she was finally prepared to provide feedback to her Grade 2 teacher. During this meeting, she provided feedback about how the teacher facilitated the lesson and used the teaching and learning materials. And they discussed the results of the rapid test. “I am proud that I can support my teachers and help them improve. My support not only helps the teachers but the students as well. The more they are engaged in the sessions, the more their reading will improve,” Ms. Tola explained.
The FFE project is committed to building the capacity of school directors to ensure they are able to provide teachers with the regular, ongoing support they need to successfully implement the new Early Grade Learning package.