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Education plays very important role in producing human resources of all the country around the world. One country can be well developed based significantly on the quality of human resources and this can be achieved by conducting education only. Cambodia is one of the countries in the world which also need well education system to produce qualified human resources for developing the country. Education system in Cambodia is divided into four levels, Pre-School Education, Primary Education, Secondary Education (lower and upper), and Higher Education (UNESCO, 2008). The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has set the goal to help children get basic education at least at grade ninth. After completed grade 9, students can either go to upper secondary schools or secondary vocational training program provided by Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MOLVT). After completing upper secondary schools, student can either enter vocational training or universities (UNESCO, 2008).
Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of any nation. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) is committed to economic and social development as a priority. The 'Rectangular Strategy', the approved national economic development framework, and the more detailed 5 years National Strategic Development Plan 2006 - 2010 are committed to skills development. Cambodia will achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of Poverty and Starvation Reduction, Enhancing Gender Equity and Creation of Globalization Partnership for Development partly through a responsive and better quality training system. For growth, employment, equity and efficiency the RGC is committed to strengthening the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector.
To achieve this commitment, the RGC mandated the establishment of a new ministry, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT), in 2004. Within the ministry the Directorate General of TVET (DGTVET) was established and under this sits the National Training Board (NTB) with a mission to ensure that Cambodia meets its economic and development goals through an industry driven, quality TVET system.
A key strategy to achieve quality effective TVET and competency based curriculum and training is designation of the National Technical Training Institute (NTTI), operating under the Directorate General, TVET, as a Lead Institute and a Centre for Excellence for TVET teacher training in Cambodia. NTTI is responsible for VET Teacher Training and Development for teachers servicing both the Regional and Provincial Training Centers in throughout the country.
There are thirty eight (38) TVET institutions run by Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT) in Cambodia and those institutions are separated as Provincial Training Centers (PTCs), Regional Training Centers (RTCs), and TVET institutes (MOLVT, DTVETM). NTTI is one of the TVET institutions under the umbrella of MLVT and is the only institution which has the main duty to train TVET teachers both Senior and Junior level in order to provide those teachers to work at all the 38 TVET institutions throughout the country. The MLVT has set the policy to recruit three hundreds (300) of TVET teacher trainees every year.
1.2 Problem statement
A study conducted by Nock and Bishop (2008) showed the major causes of Cambodian teacher dissatisfaction such as low salary, corruption/nepotism, poor leadership, poor living conditions, students behavior, and working environment. The same study revealed that 99 percent of the respondents said that they could not survive on their salary and this trouble caused 93 percent of them to hold the second job. Moreover, other studies in Cambodia also found out the increasing disrespect from society toward teachers in public schools (CITA, 2010). MoEYS (2010b) admitted that many teaching forces has left their teaching positions, transferred to the new job, and reached the retirement age and this problem also occurs in MLVT. These studies had not specified the problems in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) but it stated the common problems happening in Cambodian education environment.
In addition to the matters mentioned above, TVET is a very poor sector in Cambodia and it is always considered as the second choice to all people including students. TVET is a newly established institution which has just been started developing in 2004, the year that MLVT was established. The enrollment rate in TVET is very low if comparing to the Academic Education. Moreover, the leadership, teaching facilities, and especially human resources are in the bad condition. Yet, there are many graduates who come and apply for the entrance examination to be a TVET teacher at NTTI. Based on the observation at NTTI, usually the number of applicants who applied for the entrance examination at NTTI always far exceeds the number of recruits. For example, in the academic year 2012 - 2013, there are more than 1,800 candidates have applied for the entrance examination while MLVT recruits only 300.
1.3 Research Questions
To pass the entrance examination at NTTI in order to be a TVET teacher trainee is not easy. Yet, there are some trainees who drop out from this training program when they have another choice or better job opportunity. Thus, this research is basically aimed to find out the main factors that trainees want to become a teacher in TVET sector on their perspective in teaching career. The specific questions that the study seeks to answer are:
What are the perceptions of graduates, who are applying for the entrance examination at National Technical Training Institute, toward TVET teacher career?
How strong are they committed in working to improve TVET in order to develop the socio-economic of the country?
1.4 Significance of the research
This study will be useful in some areas as following. First, this study will contribute to decision makers or policy maker when recruiting TVET teacher trainees. Those people will have a basic finding from this research so that they will be able to make a good decision when choosing or planning TVET teacher training. Second, the research is purposely help to retain teachers to stay in their current teaching position and post. The study aims to find the best candidate to become a TVET teacher and ensure that they will not change their teaching job to other jobs. Third, the study will provide various perspectives of graduates and individuals' reasons for becoming as a TVET teacher. Last, but not least, the study will contribute to the present literature on TVET teacher training sector.
In addition, the study will be conducted in order to find out the way to improve TVET in Cambodia because TVET is always considered as the key to socio-economic development of any nation around the world.
Chapter II: Literature review
A number of studies have been conducted in many countries throughout the world over the last 20 years exploring the motivation of those who decide to become school teachers (Chris Kyriacou & Mellissa Coulthard, 2000). Such studies indicate that the main reasons for choosing teaching as a career fall into three main areas: (1) altruistic reasons: these reasons deal with seeing teaching as a socially worthwhile and important job, a desire to help children succeed, and a desire to help society improve; (2) instrinsic reasons: these reason conver aspects of the job activity itself, such as the activity of teaching children, and an interest in using their subject matter knowledge and expertise; and (3) extrinsic reasons: these reasons cover aspects of the job which are not inherent in the work itself, such as long holidays, level of pay, and status. The results of such studies have received particular attention because of the recruitment crisis facing many countries in attracting people of sufficient quality into the teaching (Chris Kyriacou & Mellissa Coulthard, 2000).
The study above shows us about the three reasons why some students choose the teacher career for their job, and the way that people help the next generation to be successful in their life is one part of choosing teacher profession. Another reason is that they wish to share knowledge and expertise to other people in order to provide the subject matter to their community. In contrast, some people choose teacher career for their own benefit such as good payment, for journey, or for pleasure. However, the study revealed that 95% of students rated 'a job that I will find enjoyable' as very important factor in choosing teaching career. Some other factors were also high rated such as 'working with children', 'a job where I will contribute to society' and 'a job which give me responsibility', (Chris Kyriacou & Mellissa Coulthard, 2000).
Another study conducted by Thomas J. DeLong (1987), has stated some reasons why people choose their career in teaching as following: most people rated 'I like working with children/youth' the most follow by 'I like to help others learn and develop', next is 'it fulfills a need of mine to feel useful/contributing', and then 'I like the hours and vacations', least rated one is 'It's a profession that also allows me time to pursue other jobs or business' and 'I like money'. The study also stated about the influences on teachers' acceptance of first teaching jobs such as geographical location, teach my area of expertise, just needed a job, job satisfaction, good administration/bosses, long-range security, a chance to be creative, good physical environment, benefits, autonomy, and advancement into school administration. The result of this study suggests that teachers go into teaching for very different reasons and are influenced in different ways to choose teaching as career.
The five reasons which received the highest rating in a research study conducted by Chris Kyriacou, Age Hultgren & Paul Stephens, are as follow: (1) I enjoy the subject I will teach, (2) It enables me to use my subject, (3) I like working with children, (4) There are long holidays, and (5) It is a socially worthwhile job. However, there are two reasons which got the highest rating; 'I want to help children succeed' and 'I enjoy the subject I will teach'. These findings are conducted by both the York and Stavanger sample.
In summary, the previously cited literature identified a consistent set of the most commonly popular factors that individuals had for entering the teaching profession. These factors included: enjoying working with children and young people; making a difference to society, getting the opportunity to be creative; and a respected well paid profession. In addition, many teachers found their job emotionally satisfying. The altruistic factors were the focus of most of the cited studies.