I had an opportunity to conduct my summer internship at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) in Cambodia from September 4th to 30th, 2017. During the internship, I was placed in the Department of Policy and Planning under the supervision of His Excellency Sothea Lim. I conducted my research on teachers’ job satisfaction in the primary schools in Phnom Penh City as part of the internship, in order to collect and organize data and information about my research. I had the following four main activities: (1) distributed my questionnaire and conducted interviews in primary schools, (2) conducted interview and data collection at the UNESCO and UNICEF Cambodia Offices, (3) conducted research in Teacher Training Center (TTC), and (4) conducted interview District Office of Education (DoE) and Provincial Office of Education (PoE).
For the first activity, I distributed approximately 100 questionnaires on teachers’ job satisfaction survey to the primary school teachers, and conducted interview to school principals and teachers by visiting two public and one private primary schools. During the interviews, I asked teachers about their salary, school’s facilities, relationship with colleagues and supervisors, as well as their job satisfaction. I also asked the principals about school management and how they monitor and evaluate teachers. Through these interviews, I was able to enhance my understanding of teachers’ job satisfaction and level of motivation. Moreover, I was able to assess the quality of school facilities and classroom environment by observing these schools and classrooms.
For the second activity, I visited UNESCO and UNICEF Cambodia Offices in Phnom Penh City, and had meetings with education experts in order to grasp deeper understanding of current situation in terms of primary education and understand how they could work with MoEYS in Cambodia. In addition, I received valuable advice on how to successfully implement my research in Cambodia. I acquired information and knowledge about the current situation of primary education in Cambodia and research methods from not only MoEYS, but also from international organizations, so that I could develop academic and practical knowledge and skills.
For the third activity, I visited TTC in Phnom Penh City and distributed my questionnaire to TTC’s trainers and interviewed them. During the interview, I asked about TTC’s curriculum, course contents, classroom facilities and materials, and trainers’ job satisfaction. According to the interview, I learned that a teacher’s career is not very attractive for students who achieved excellent grades on the national grade 12 final exam, since teachers’ salary is low and not enough to live in Phnom Penh City. Consequently, most of TTC enrollees were low scorers from this exam. Besides, trainers also mentioned that classroom facilities and materials are not sufficient quantitatively and qualitatively.
For the fourth activity, in order to learn the work of DoE and PoE, and the current situation of primary education in Cambodia, I visited DoE in Chouck District and PoE in Kompot Province. Since most of the officers in DoE and PoE have working experience in schools as teachers, I was able to acquire the information about teachers’ job satisfaction and motivation from them. Through the interview, I have learned that most of teachers need to have second jobs, such as private tutoring, agricultural work, and so on, because of low teacher’s salary. In addition, parental involvement is very weak and problematic in this province and district. In terms of the work of DoE and PoE, I was able to learn how to allocate the school budget and how to make and implement school’s action plans by reading AoP (Annual Operation Plan).
Throughout the internship in the MoEYS in Cambodia, I was able to explore the real world settings in the Cambodia primary education, and was able to learn the current situation on teachers’ job satisfaction.
I sincerely appreciate His Excellency Sothea Lim and all of his staff in DOE, MoEYS for receiving me as their intern and for providing with heartfelt support throughout the internship. I also would like to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Keiichi Ogawa, who provided me with this wonderful opportunity.
Authored by Ryoma Kanazawa (Master Student)
Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports in Cambodia