Remarks by Ms Rebecca Boon, SIF Volunteer Cooperation Senior Manager, at the Closing of the High School Mathematics & Science Methodology Training Project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
H.E. Dr Sieng Sovanna, National Institute of Education Cambodia
Ladies and gentlemen
Good evening. Welcome to the project closing of the High School Mathematics & Science Methodology Project. This is indeed a celebratory occasion, commemorating achievements and friendships forged through a successful three-year partnership between Singaporean and Cambodian teaching communities.
The Singapore International Foundation or SIF has a strong history of cooperation with Cambodia. Since 2001, our peoples have worked together, sharing ideas, skills and resources, in various SIF projects spanning the areas of education, healthcare and environment. We are grateful to be given the opportunity to collaborate with our partner National Institute of Education Cambodia or NIE in this meaningful endeavour to enhance high school mathematics and science teaching pedagogy, at the national level.
The importance of education is a shared value that both Singapore and Cambodia embrace. At the SIF, we believe that it empowers communities and is key to improving lives and economic upliftment. Since 2013, a team of specialist Singapore International Volunteers (SIVs) have trained a core group of teacher educators and teacher trainees from Cambodia’s NIE, equipping them with knowledge and pedagogical skills to teach high school Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
Over six training sessions, including a workshop held earlier today, we worked collaboratively to devise new Mathematics and Science lesson plans using a variety of methods such as graphing calculators to reinforce mathematical concepts, scientific experiments and laboratory work. The trainee teachers were also equipped with skills to assess students’ learning in these subjects.
The outcomes of our cross-border collaboration are truly encouraging. In three years, this project has directly benefited close to 1,200 teacher educators and trainee teachers. I am heartened that this group of trainees have shared their newfound knowledge and skills with 47,000 indirect beneficiaries in Cambodia, further ensuring the sustainability of this project. The trainees also reported that they have gained basic competency in the use of calculators, which is integral to the learning of Mathematics and helps them to be better prepared for the country’s move towards the use of calculators in the schooling system.
The High School Mathematics & Science Methodology Training Project shows us that when world communities come together to do good, it creates greater mutual understanding and uplifts lives. Our deepest gratitude goes to our team of Singaporean volunteers led by Mr Teo Ming Ern from Hwa Chong Institution, for contributing their time and expertise to this project. The volunteers have shared with me that in giving, they have gained so much more – a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Cambodian way of life as well as new personal and professional ties forged. It is our hope that both our communities will continue to maintain such friendships for many more years to come. We are also grateful to Texas Instruments who have funded over 150 units of scientific and graphing calculators towards this project.
On this note, I like to convey my heartfelt appreciation to our partner NIE Cambodia for your trust in sharing our vision in building a better world – one that is peaceful, inclusive and offers opportunities for all.
As SIF celebrates 25 years of connecting global communities and enabling collaborations to effect positive change, this journey would not have been complete without our friends from around the world including those from Cambodia. I wish you an enjoyable evening ahead.
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