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IBE engages in policy dialogue to involve Cambodian girls and women in STEM education

The IBE coordinated a policy dialogue workshop to foster female participation in STEM education and to discuss tangible ways to mainstream gender-sensitive STEM education into the syllabi, learning and materials, teacher education and professional development.
Policy dialogue  to foster female participation in STEM education; Gender-sensitive STEM education


This activity took place beginning of April in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and was co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia (MoEYS) and UNESCO with the support of the Ministry of Education of Malaysia and within the framework of Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme “Strengthening STEM Curricula for Girls in Africa and Asia and the Pacific-Phase I” funded by Malaysia Funds-in-Trust.
Recently, the MoEYS has approved the first STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) policy in the country taking into account the developments of the IBE-Malaysia project. The Ministry has identified STEM education as one of its priority areas in order to promote the interest for STEM among children and youth, especially girls, as well as to improve STEM teaching and learning strategies and resources.
The workshop began with the opening remark of the Secretary of State of the MoEYS, H.E. Mr Im Koch, and the Director of the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh, Ms Anne Lemaistre. Participants shared their knowledge and experience through engaging presentations followed by productive roundtable discussions involving various actors across the different levels of the Cambodian MoEYS and other ministerial officials (Ministry of Labor, Technical and Vocational Training, Commerce, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Information and Technology, Women's Affairs, etc.), academic sector, STEM Commission, Japanese and Korean cooperation entities, the British Council, and civil society. Three priority areas were agreed upon to give effect to the new STEM policy. These are: (i) infuse STEM philosophy and implement the STEM policy into the new curriculum framework with a gender perspective; (ii) repertoire of teaching and learning resources (printed and online) to support the development of STEM nationwide; and (iii) raising public awareness for the enhancing girl's involvement.
During the last day of the workshop a meeting was held with the Minister of MoEYS, H.E. Mr Hang Chuon Naron, and H.E. Mr Im Koch along with the Malaysian counterparts and the Director of UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh to further discuss the implementation of the STEM policy. One of the actions planned is to organize a capacity-development workshop for the core team in charge of STEM education within the new curriculum framework. One big challenge lies in infusing STEM philosophy into the curriculum. The IBE will continue to provide technical assistance to mainstream gender-sensitive STEM education in Cambodia.