To prepare this SI-project dr. Socheath Mam (project team coordinator, EFL-teacher trainer and researcher) and dr. Soth Sok (dean department of Education and EFL-teacher trainer) visited PXL and UHasselt. This Global Minds visit is part of the preparation of a VLIR-UOS-project: ‘A course for innovative teaching and research practice for teacher trainers in Cambodia.’ This project supports educational innovation in RUPP (Faculty of Education and other selected Faculties) by developing and implementing a blended course based upon the principles of design-based research. It is coordinated by PXL (Education) but working together with UHasselt for 2 years (2018/2020) with the financial support of VLIR-UOS. The first day of this visit was filled with meetings with all PXL stakeholders and an inspirational session about the SI-project we are currently conducting in Ecuador (Stijn Janssen – Coordinator Association University Hasselt and PXL). On Tuesday we prepared the research project with all North-South members together and in the afternoon our delegation attended a presentation of PXL-students about the Educational System in The Netherlands. Followed by presentations of the RUPP delegation about the Educational system in Cambodia and an information session for interested students doing an international internship in Cambodia (academic year 2018-2019). The following day our RUPP delegation attended a didactic workshop EFL and a LEGO workshop in our LEGO innovational studio. Thursday, we visited two Flemish schools (Dalton School and Toverfluit) and the Cambodian delegation attended micro-teaching classes at PXL. Within UHasselt the international team has experience in coordinating the financial aspects in a North-South project, so we had an introduction to prepare the financial report on our project. Apart from the activities that are specific to this project, we tried to broaden and deepen the institutional relations of PXL and UHasselt with RUPP.
Quality education in Cambodia is seen as a crucial way to develop the country and to fight against poverty. Teacher training is essential to impact the heart of the educational system. This project is supporting the RUPP to innovate and create higher quality in their own education. It will have impact on the preservice- teachers (students) and their practices (as leaders) in the communities. Students will get more chances to be successful in advanced studies. As a consequence, these future teachers will create a multiplication effect through their pupils and future colleagues. The experience of doing educational research will contribute to a research culture and will strengthen important competences as civil participants, reflective thinking, analytic, communicative, planning, intercultural and cooperative skills.