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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Perspectives and Comment on Education for Heavy Industry in Cambodia Today

Locating on the mainland of South East Asia (SEA) and developing so fast, Cambodia today has the population around 15 million people with the unique rich culture of Khmer. In 1900s, Cambodia faced different taste of politics. From the early 1900s, Cambodia was being colonized and later got independence in 1953. Since then, Cambodia started to recover the economic down and cultural loss in the hand of colonial and in 1955 created what is called "Sangkum Reastr Niyum" bringing the happiness and solidarity of the nation for 17 years later. The golden age had been returned for a while with the good perspectives on the economic development in Cambodia going faster in SEA, but the hope was lost because of the political challenge of the superpowers in the region as well as the influence of various foreign political ideologies on Cambodian politicians. Being so new to Cambodia, these ideologies destroyed Cambodia to zero year nothing left besides the cultural heritage from Angkor Era and earlier ancient eras. 

The recovery has been conducted from the zero year to present step by step through the initiatives of the Cambodian government as well as the best effort of residents in Cambodia. Education is the first priority sector today; many public and private educational institution has been established more from year to year. This results the good human resources with both professional skills and language proficiency. Cambodian youth today could speak at least a foreign language; those foreign languages are English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, etc. Most university students chose major related to service like Finance and Banking, Law, Mass Media, Accounting, Certified Public Accounting (CPA), Economic Development, Language for Business and Translation, Education, Business Management, Hospitality and Tourism, Information and Technology (IT), and so on. However, less university students chose technical major including Engineering (Food and Chemical, Civil Construction, Electronic, Electricity, and so on), Architecture, Archaeology, Agriculture, Forestry, Vet Medical Science, etc. 

Additionally, there are just some vocational training centers providing basic skills to Cambodian citizens related to heavy industry. Being on the development stage; however, Cambodia needs more technical skill workers and employees. The government of Cambodia should find the solution to tackle this issue as soon as possible in order to prepare for the challenge of job market in the future ASEAN Community; government should set the budget to build more vocational training centers and human resource throughout the country not only in the resident center, but also in the rural areas of Cambodia. I do believe more Cambodian citizens gonna get interest in this vocational training. Similarly, increasing more university for the technical skill major should be the next targets of the government even though the cost of study in this major is much more expensive. However, it will bring much benefits to both students themselves and the country. The campaign is needed from the initiatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to alert all high school students how the importance of technical skill for Cambodia today is. Many Japanese factories are facing the shortage of Cambodian technical skill workers and employees inside the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) recently as the example for the needs of the government actions. The fear of Cambodian residents to work in this heavy industry is coming from the lack of believe they can do it because they do not know much about the industry and skills required. "Well-prepared! Hard-working! Successful!" (WHS Policy)

By: POK Panhavuth