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Regional Seminar on “Promoting Rights-Based Approach in Pre-service Teacher Education and Training towards EFA in the Asia-Pacific Countries”

25-27 May, 2009 ,Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The regional seminar was organized under the framework of the regional project on “Strengthening Teacher Training to achieve EFA” which was launched in October 2007. The project was initiated with the aim of improving the quality of teachers in the Asia-Pacific region by promoting reforms in national pre-service teacher training systems with the introduction of a holistic perspective in policies, institutional aims and strategies as well as training curricula.  


The purpose of the in-depth review was to identify capacity gaps within the national teacher education systems with regards to a rights-based and gender responsive approach to teacher education and to develop guidelines and support adaptation of training materials to promote inclusive, rights-based and gender-responsive practices in teacher training institutions.


The purpose of the Regional Seminar was to share the national situational analysis of pre-service teacher training systems which was conducted in the seven project countries during 2008 and early 2009  in  namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Nepal and Viet Nam.


The Regional Seminar was hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia and was jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) of Cambodia, UNESCO Phnom Penh Office and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok. 


The opening ceremony of the Seminar was presided over by H.E. Im Sethy, Minister of Education, Mr. Teruo Jinnai, Head of UNESCO Phnom Penh, and Mr. Gwang-jo Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok.  The seminar was facilitated by Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, former Director of UNESCO Bangkok and a consultant to the project. Over 35 people participated in the Seminar, three each from the project countries and over 10 people from the host country, Cambodia.


A half-day study visit to the Regional Teacher Training Center (RTTC) in Kandal province was organized by the MoEYS on the second day of the seminar. The Kandal RTTC is well known for the strong support that it receives from the Prime Minister and the way it has managed to integrate the concept of child rights and gender equality in teacher training curriculum. The study visit served as an opportunity to see how a rights-based approach to teacher training could be introduced.


At the end of the three-day seminar, each country drafted a national action plan to reorient their pre-service teacher training systems to become more rights-based, integrating the key cross-cutting themes of inclusive education, gender equality and human rights education. A number of recommendations were also proposed by the seminar to be followed up in the regional synthesis report that is expected to be produced as the main output of the project over all.