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Educating children via video tutorial


Even though some children do not focus much on studying, they are still able to gain knowledge when watching our programs because we have combined entertainment and education.

Video tutorial

Video tutorial

“Hello, kids! Welcome to the Khmer literature tutorial! In this VCD, you will learn how to write Khmer consonants and vowels while also learning about social morality and the many ways you can practice being a good person.”

The above sentences are voiced by an animated cartoon character in an introduction video meant to demonstrate to children all the benefits they can receive from the VCD, a video tutorial on the Khmer language produced by You Can School. The video, which can be bought in markets across the country, is just one of many locally produced VCDs that have been using video and animation instead of live teachers to instruct children in a variety of subjects.

Started in 2008, You Can School has published 20 volumes of video tutorials in various subjects.

Ourn Sarath, the director of You Can School and a producer of the tutorial videos, says there are a lot of benefits that children and parents can get from these videos.

“Even though some children do not focus much on studying, they are still able to gain knowledge when watching our programs because we have combined entertainment and education in each video,” Ourn Sarath says.

He adds that parents who have more than one child can save money by buying one video for all their children. The children can watch the tutorial together and replay it multiple times until they understand the content.

BS Studio is another video tutorial company that has been in operation since 2008. So far, this company has produced 12 volumes of tutorials, spending around two months to produce a single VCD. Some of these tutorials teach Khmer, some teach English, and all are aimed at children.

“Because of the novelty of this teaching method, we get a lot of support from parents, some of whom even buy the tutorials for relatives living in foreign countries who want to study Khmer,” Chhem Sotvannak, a producer at the BS Studio says. He adds that Adobe After Effect software is used to make all the motion pictures.

Heng Sokha, a teacher at the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) and the mother of a six-year-old child, says she was unaware that there were instructional videos in the Khmer language, but added that she had bought some of the English-instruction cartoon tutorials for her child, starting at age two.

“I bought some Hollywood cartoons for my child to watch, and I saw an improvement in her listening and speaking abilities compared to other children of the same age,” Heng Sokha says.

“After watching my baby improve a lot, I have decided to continue buying videos for her at increasingly advanced levels.” Nonetheless, these videos cannot replace traditional teaching.

“I don’t think it’s right to keep children at home and simply have them watch videos,” says 25-year-old Men Ponleu, who has been working as a pre-school teacher for more than six years.

She explains that videos should be used only to review lessons children have already learned at school.

“Students can only practice with videos if they have a teacher to bounce questions off,” Men Ponleu says.

“This kind of video works well for children who already have some basic education,” echoes Ourn Sarath. He adds that the aim of creating the videos was to complement, not replace traditional education.

06/07/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth
This article was published on LIFT, Issue 78 published on July 06, 2011
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Living in a pagoda, an alternative to stay and study in Phnom Penh_edited version


Student living in pagoda

Student living in pagoda / by: Pha Lina

Measuring just 8 square metres, it’s about half as big as a typical school classroom. One student is doing his homework on a table supporting two desktop computers, adjacent to a broken window. Another student strolls in and begins searching for some lost items in a row of old plastic closets on the opposite side of the room. All in all, the room isn’t much different from the other eight rooms at the monastery, each housing four students in a tiny space. Monastery 10 stands to the west of the main entrance to Mahamuntrei pagoda, surrounded by a number of stupas.

 Oeum Vanna, 25, who hails from Kampong Speu province and hopes to continue his education at university, has been living in the pagoda for more than three years.

As he walks out of his room in his student’s uniform, he explains how he came to stay at the pagoda. “My parents asked this pagoda for permission two years before my high-school graduation,” says the first of four children born to a Kampong Speu farming family.

Ouem Vanna says that living at a pagoda means one has to adhere to its internal rules, including being out no later than 9pm. That deadline is not flexible, as at that time, the monks lock the gates of the pagoda for the security of the students.

Not every student who comes from the provinces gets a chance to stay at a city pagoda. “Only students with good backgrounds who come from impoverished conditions are permitted to stay here,” says Sao Oeun, head of the monastery at Mahamuntrei pagoda. Sao Oeun is responsible for administering the activities in the nine-room building.

He explains that every student seeking to live at the pagoda needs to undergo background checks to make sure he has a good academic history, no criminal record, and has displayed exemplary behaviour, as judged by his village chief or school principal.

Sao Oeun says he doesn’t want troublemakers at the pagoda, because this would disturb the lives of the rest of the students.

In fact, monks from the provinces with hopes of changing their own pagodas in some way have first priority when space is being allocated at the pagoda. All the extra rooms go to students from rural areas. “There are not many rooms for all students who want to be in the Phnom Penh, but at least we can help some of them,” the head of the monastery says.

Mahamuntrei pagoda is not the only place students can seek accommodation when transferring to the city to continue their education. Samrong Andet, in Sangkat Phnom Penh Thmey, just outside Phnom Penh, is another pagoda that accepts rural students seeking to better their circumstances.

Since 1993, when the pagoda began accepting students, thousands have stayed there free of charge. Two hundred are currently staying at the pagoda. Ra Son, one of the four monks responsible for overseeing the pagoda boys, says the pagoda’s grounds contain 100 rooms in which students can stay, with two students occupying each small room and four in each large room.

Even after face-to-face interviews and extensive background checks, not all the miscreants can be weeded out, and some still commit offences while living at the pagoda.

“No one can be perfect all the time,” Ra Son says philosophically.

29/06/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth and Tang Khyhay
This article was published on LIFT, Issue 77 published on June 29, 2011

Living in a pagoda, an alternative to stay and study in Phnom Penh_original version


Dear student blog visitors,

Below is a feature story focusing on the way of life of people living in pagoda. Here is the original version (not edited from any editor) I wrote with another LIFT reporter. The reason I decide to post the original version is that I don’t think the published version (already edited and cut) is fully covered as what we intended to do.

Enjoy reading here,

A Buddhist statue in Samrong Andet pagoda / by: Dara Saoyuth

A Buddhist statue in Samrong Andet pagoda / by: Dara Saoyuth

It is smaller than half of the typical school classroom, about eight square meters. Equipped with two desktop computers on the desk just next to the broken window, one student was doing his homework while another entered the room searching for his clothes in the two old plastic closets opposite the computers. With separated bathroom, it is not different from other eight rooms in the monastery where four students squeeze together for shelter. As quiet as the other monastery, the monastery number ten stands on the west of the main entrance of Mahamuntrei pagoda, surrounded by a number of stupas.

From Kampong Speu province and hope to continue his higher education in university, Oem Vanna, age 25, has been living in the pagoda for more than three years. Walking out of his room in student’s uniform, he stated how he could get to stay in the pagoda.

“My parents asked for the permission in this pagoda two years before my high school graduation,” said Oeum Vanna, the first son born in a farmer family that has four children.

Oeum Vanna said that living in the pagoda has to adhere to the internal rule of the monastery for example he could not be out later than nine o’clock at night since monks will lock the gates for the safety of the others.

However, not every student who comes from the provinces has a chance to settle down at the pagodas in the city. “All students who were permitted to stay here have to be in good background and in poor living condition,” said Sao Oeun, head of the monastery in Mahamuntrei pagoda, where he controls a nine-room building.

He said everyday student who were able to live here has to be verified with no criminal record, good academic performance and behavior from the village chief or school principal, explaining that he did not want the trouble makers to stay in the Buddhist area, and this would also disturb to the live of other students in the monastery.

Since the priority to be in the pagoda was given to monks at the provinces who hopes to change their pagodas for some reasons, the remaining available space keeps for students from the rural areas. “There are not many rooms for all students who want to be in the Phnom Penh, but at least we can help some of them,” said the head of the monastery.

Mahamuntrei pagoda is not the only place where students can ask for accommodation while they transfer their study to the city. In Sangkat Phnom Penh Thmey just outside Phnom Penh, Samrong Andet pagoda is one of the pagodas that can accept much more students than others. Since 1993, students have been accepted to stay in pagoda and so far, there are thousands of them who used to stay there while another more than two hundred students are staying in the pagoda for free of charge.

Ra Son, one among the four monks who are responsible in taking control of pagoda boys, said that the pagoda has around one hundred rooms varying from small to large rooms for students to stay, and the number of students in each room depends on the room’s size which normally two people in a small room and four people in a large room.

By just selecting students based on face-to-face meeting and reading their background from official papers they hand in, not all students being selected are good, and as a result, some of them commit offense upon living in pagoda.

“Some students have committed offenses because people are not perfect all the time,” said Ra Son; adding that if it is just a small offense, he would advise them not to do that again. But if it is rather big, he would ask their parents to come and talk, and if it is a big offense like criminal behavior, he would send them to authority in charged.

In Samrong Andet pagoda, students have to wake up and join a prayer program with monks about half an hour every morning starting from 5:35. “We not only call them to pray, but the other four monks and me take turn to educate all of them each morning, especially on how to behave well in the society,” said Ra Son.

Pagoda Students do not have to pay for monthly rented fees and even can have free meals as well as getting education from monks. Even though pagodas seem to be a good place for poor students who apt for education in the city, they are not meant as permanent accommodations.

Oem Vanna who has been living in Mahamuntrei pagoda for almost four years said that he had planned to leave pagoda and rented a room when his younger brother finished high school and came to Phnom Penh.

“When I first arrived in the city, pagoda was the only place for me because I do not have any money to rent a room, but now I got a job and at least can afford it, so i think that I should give opportunity for some other students from provinces to pursue their education.”

29/06/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth and Tang Khyhay
 

10 Reasons Teachers Shouldn’t Be Facebook Friends with Students


Kelly Kaplan, one of Student Blog readers, has just sent me an article which I hope all of you also like to read it. I’ve posted the full article here, and if you’d like to read from the original site, feel free to click the link at the end of the post. Cheers,

From: Original post

You can find just about anybody on Facebook these days. People are becoming Facebook friends with old classmates, long lost cousins and the neighbor across the street. Teens especially seem to have a tendency to add almost everyone to their friends list that asks. So, if one of their teachers should send them a friend request, they’re likely to accept it. If they randomly came across a teacher’s profile on Facebook, they might also send a friend request too, without thinking much about it. A teacher, however, should give the situation some consideration. There are some very good reasons why a teacher should NOT be Facebook friends with their students.

  1. Privacy – The teacher’s privacy and the student’s privacy are compromised when they become Facebook friends. A student (and that student’s friends) may learn things about their teacher that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. This could be detrimental in the class setting.
  2. Harassment – Again, this can go both ways. If the relationship between the teacher and the student is not a positive one, or deteriorates in the classroom, Facebook connections could be used to harass one another outside the confines of the school building.
  3. Work vs Home – Teachers often had a hard time drawing a line between work and home. Since Facebook would be something they would use more for their personal lives than their work, becoming Facebook friends with students just further blurs that already fuzzy line.
  4. Favoritism – Since teachers have many different students each day, if they were Facebook friends with some of their students and not others, they would likely be accused of showing favoritism to those students they had befriended on Facebook.
  5. Intimidation – Some students might see a teacher’s Facebook friendship intimidating. They may be hesitant to accept the friendship because of not wanting their teacher to be privy to their conversations with friends. At the same time, they may fear saying no to a friend request from a teacher, for fear that they will offend the teacher and negatively affect the teacher’s treatment of them.
  6. Age appropriate – Since a teacher would be an adult, there may be postings from friends on their Facebook page, which would not be age appropriate content for their students to be reading or viewing.
  7. Bullying – School bullies love to tease other kids about having friendly relationships with their teachers. Being Facebook friends with students may make them a bigger target for that type of bullying from other students.
  8. Prejudice – As much as teachers try not to allow outside knowledge affect their treatment of their students, it still can have a subliminal effect. A Facebook friendship may cause a teacher to see the student in a whole different light than they did in the classroom previously.
  9. Misunderstandings – Online communications are often filled with misunderstandings about what a person meant by something they typed or did online. A teacher/student friendship on Facebook could create more opportunities for these types of misunderstandings.
  10. Expectations – A student who has a teacher as a Facebook friend may expect special treatment from that teacher. The student may also expect the teacher to answer questions regarding assignments and homework via their Facebook friendship, that should be reserved for the classroom.

If you’re a teacher and haven’t given this situation any thought, now is the time to do so. The easiest solution is to simply make it a matter of personal policy to not be Facebook friends with any student at your school. That way, no one can be offended by your rejecting their friend request, and you can’t be put in a position that you may later regret.

14/06/2011
From: Student Blog reader
Original site: 10 Reasons Teachers Shouldn’t Be Facebook Friends with Students

Schools Led by Students


Although poor funding is almost certainly the main obstacle standing between Cambodian students and an internationally competitive education, it is certainly not the only thing that needs to be addressed for the Kingdom to start producing world-ready intellectuals. Dara Saoyuth looks at plans turn things around that will put students behind the wheel.

learning how to grow vegetables

learning how to grow vegetables / by: World Education

Carrying a green sack on her right shoulder, 7-year-old Chan Eng was opening a rubbish bin along the riverside with a 10-year old boy, looking for empty cans and bottles to sell. Last year she went to a school and studied in grade 1, but three months later, she had to drop out of school because her parents, who work as scavengers, could not afford to pay for her studies. She was asked to scavenge and to make some money to support the family.

She is not the only child in this predicament. About one-third of children in Cambodia aged five to fourteen work, leaving them with less time to concentrate on school, according to a document released in January 2010 by the American Institutes for Research.

In article 48 of the Cambodian Constitution adopted in 1999, it states that “the State shall protect children from acts that are injurious to their educational opportunities,health and welfare”. It is also a government policy to provide children with basic education, from grade 1 to grade 9.

The Child Friendly School, or CFS, is a programme that has been tested and practiced in Cambodia by the Ministry of Education and its development partners in order to implement this policy.

“CFS is a school where educating techniques focus more on children’s rights and all stakeholders have to work together to produce a learning environment that is more friendly to students and to assure them that they can get knowledge, have life skills, have good behaviour and be able to live in society peacefully,”said Mom Meth, a Technical Assistant at the Secondary Department of the Ministry of Education.

The CFS programme is also focused on child centered learning, which means that children take anactive role in their learning and work in a more independent way to discover their potential and uniqueness, while the teachers’ role is to facilitate them.

There are six dimensions in the CFS programme. The first dimension is inclusive education. The second is effective learning; the third,health, safety and child protection;the fourth, gender sensitivity; the fifth, engagement with children,parents and communities; and the sixth, support from educational management structure.

The CFS pilot programme was implemented in 2000 by the Ministry of Education. Some NGOs and development partners such as UNICEF, Save the Children and Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE) are helping with some primary schools in Cambodia.

Kou Boun Kheang, a Senior Education Program Advisor at Save the Children, said the organisation has supported CFS since 2000, but is mainly focused on the first, second and sixth dimensions that relate to schools seeking out excluded children, effective learning and school management structure.

“We look around so we can clearly find children who are not able to go to school,” Kou Bounkheang said when explaining how they find excluded children. He added that after finding them, his organisation will then make contact with their parents, explain things to them and give a loan or scholarship to the family and children to make sure they can go to school.

Minister of Education Im Sethy officially approved and announced on December 14, 2007, that all schools in the country should implement the Child Friendly School programme.In the Education Sector Plan for 2006-2010 from the ministry,one priority is to initiate CFS in all 24 provinces to build some quality in basic education.

Por Sokhoeun, a director at the Hor Namhong Sangker secondary school in Kampong Cham, said he adopted the CFS programme in March 2010 and has organised classrooms, school environments,teaching and learning techniques based on the CFS programme.

“It’s different from schools that haven’t practiced the programme because here, students are mobile from one room to another according to the subjects they are studying, unlike in previous times when they had to sit in one room for all subjects,”said Por Sokhoeun. He added that this has improved the quality of education because both the students and teachers can find all the equipment they need for each subject.

Por Sokhoeun gave, as an example,a geography class where there are maps, globes, pictures and tools related to the subject of geography, so students feel they are sitting in a room full of knowledge and they can absorb as much as they want.

No matter how good the programme is, it has not yet reached all schools in the Kingdom, especially for secondary education.

Liesbeth Roolvink, a Basic Education Advisor at World Education,said: “Officially the policy refers to CFS as a policy for basic education. However, the strong focus has been on primary schools and only a small number of pilot schools in lower secondary have applied the policy so far.”

She also acknowledged that the number is expanding and mentioned the project she is working on, Improved Basic Education in Cambodia(IBEC), is being implemented in 101 secondary schools in Kampong Cham, Kratie and Siem reap,and Care International is supporting it in lower secondary schools in Ratanakiri.

“For some schools that never received support in the process of adopting CFS, this may be a little difficult and therefore, they have decided to make three different development stages, basic, medium and advanced,” said Liesbeth Roolvink. “The basic level has a small number of very basic CFS requirements that schools are expected to do and this should be possible with the use of programme based budget and guidance of district technical monitoring teams.Once schools have the basic requirements in place and successfully implemented, they will move up to the next development level and for this level, there are new and more activities that must be implemented,”she explained.

Chum Sophea, director of the primary education department at the ministry of education, agreed that the level of practicing CFS is not the same for all schools based on the resources each school has.

“In some primary schools, there are only classes from grade 1 to grade 2 or 3 with a few teachers, so practicing CFS cannot be the sameas other schools that have enough resources,” said Chum Sophea, who added that the ministry plans to build more rooms and provide more teachers for schools that don’t haveclasses from grade 1 to 6 and lack teachers, so every school can develop their level of the CFS proagramme.

“Now we have 6,767 primary schools across the country and we plan to build around 400 more this year, so with 95-96 percent of children in school presently, there will be no Cambodian children that are out of school in 2015.”

 

By: Dara Saoyuth
This article was publish on LIFT, Issue 65 published on April 06, 2011

Bringing rural schools up to speed online


About 32 kilometres outside Phnom Penh stands a public secondary school that is one of the small, but growing, group of government-run schools in the Kingdom connected to the internet. Thet Visith, a grade 9 student at Samraong Leu high school in Kandal province, said he is only able to use the internet for two hours a week, but he is still grateful for the free use of online resources. “It is good to have an internet connection at my school because I can look for interesting news and gain new knowledge easily,” he said.

E-learning, as the process of getting knowledge and skills through digital sources is called, can bring educational material from around the world directly to students is places that are otherwise isolated. In the 21st century, it is one of the most powerful tools that a person can have for learning, but in Cambodia there are millions of students who go to schools with no internet access at all.

It’s already been 14 years since the first computer user sent a message over the internet, to their counterpart in California, but the reach of the internet is still very limited in the Kingdom. Due to a lack of electricity, digital infrastructure and technology education, students in remote areas of Cambodia struggle to connect to the internet at all, let alone use it regularly as an academic resource.

According to data from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications obtained received earlier this month, the Kingdom had 291,589 internet subscribers out of 14.8 million people total, just under 2 percent of the population, not including people who access the internet through cell phones or other mobile devices. According to these statistics, internet penetration in Cambodia is one of the lowest in the world, and well behind the average in Asia, 21.5 percent, and the world average, 28.7 percent.

The students at Samraong Leu secondary school are able to utilize the internet thanks to Japanese Asia Pacific Technology, as part of a Research and Human Development project. Project manager Tuy Lay Veasna said they are working with hospitals and high schools in Kandal province to promote the use of the internet in education and health services (E-health). He added that the project is in its pilot phase, but he hopes to get more funds to expand the initiative to other remote areas of the country.

Ean Savy is one of the few public school teachers in the Kingdom who teaches computer classes, but she said many of the students at Samraong Leu secondary school aren’t benefiting due to a lack of English skills or familiarity with technology.

“People in remote areas do not know what a computer is, and some are even afraid of computers,” said Chea Sok Huor, the project manager for iReach (Information for Rural Empowerment and Community Health), a project with 10 centres in Kep and Prey Veng provinces, funded by the Canadian government, which provides the internet to students and residents in those areas so they can stay educated. “Bringing the internet to their areas helps them understand more and know where they can get the information they need.”

With the aim of helping children learn through creative exploration, CAMBODIA P.R.I.D.E., founded in 2005, is another organization looking to expand internet access in Cambodia. The Reaksmy Primary School in rural Preah Vihear province is their main focus, and so far they have given more than 300 students regular access to computers and the world-wide-web.

Despite the stated mission, student explorations aren’t completely self-guided. “We don’t allow students to use the internet independently because there are many things both positive and negative in the internet world,” said Svay Pearak, an English teacher at Cambodia P.R.I.D.E whose students are learning to learn through the internet.

Once students get to university, the internet is essential, said Hor Sokpolyne, an 18-year0old sophomore studying at the Institute of Foreign Languages, but she isn’t sure how crucial it is for younger students in rural places. “I wonder if the internet provides better standards of living to people in remote areas if there is still poor electricity in some places,” she said.

This is exactly the situation that Pen Sokun, the director of Damnak Ampil secondary school in Kandal province, faces in teaching his students to use technology. “I have only two computers running on solar power for more than 300 students. It is not enough,” he said. Only with more computers, and more teachers who can train students, will he be able to properly teach technology to the students at his school.

1997

  • First computer in Cambodia with full-time internet connection.
  • Two commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) started to offer services

2003

  • The Asia Foundation launched a network of 22 Community Information Centres, within two years they had half a million visits.
  • .kh Domain names are made available by Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

2004

  • The Open Forum of Cambodia made Khmer fonts, a Khmer software application called Moyura, and an all Khmer operating system available to the public

By: Dara Saoyuth & Cheng Lita

This article was publish on LIFT, Issue 58 published on February 16, 2011

Study Tips: 12 Things I Wish My Students Knew


Have you ever felt that some of your classmates are doing better than you? Do they have big brain? Or do they study harder?

You may surprise to hear that some of them not having bigger brain nor studying harder than you, but they know how to study.

Yesterday, I watch some videos on YouTube about how to study effectively, and I eventually met a videos series which I think they are good to share to Student Blog visitors.

More than 30 years of teaching, a memory trainer Graham Best, spent his time figuring out exactly what students could do to improve their studying.

I have put links to the complete series of 12 videos and hope you enjoy watching it. If you know your friends who are struggling, please feel free to share these wonderful videos series with them. Cheers,

  1. First Things First
  2. Be Prepared
  3. Get Organized
  4. Learn to Read Right
  5. Schedule Your Time
  6. Listen and Take Notes
  7. Hand in Neat Work
  8. Ask
  9. Help Others
  10. Test Yourself
  11. Do More Than You’re Asked
  12. Use What You Learn
Posted by: Dara Saoyuth
17/01/2011
If you know a student who is struggling, you might want to alert them to these videos as a means of helping them.

Fund Raising for Poor Children in Takeo


Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) situated in the Royal University Of Phnom Penh campus. IFL organized a charity program today. This fund-raising ceremony started at 8 O’clock in the morning and end at 3 O’clock in the afternoon. The main purpose of this program is to get money for impoverished children in Takeo province.

There are a lot of fun activities and various ways to get money from participants. I can see lots of sellers which mostly are IFL students selling different types of goods counting from eatable things to readable staffs. I also bought a story book as I want to be part of the program.

There are some photos my friends and I took this morning. Let’s see it together! Cheers,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By: Dara Saoyuth
25/12/2010

Getting work done


 

A girl is testing some tools during a seminar

A girl is testing some tools during a seminar

Most students strongly agree that a university education is crucial for their future. After graduating from high school, they enter university to pursue their studies by choosing majors, or subjects, they prefer such as law, information technology, economics, management and so forth. They pay some school fees for their bachelor’s degree over a four-year period.

 

Those who cannot afford to go to a university or are not interested in getting an education at a higher level are able to attend vocational training, which is traditionally non-academic and focuses on a particular skill, such as sewing or making technical repairs.

There are vocational training centres throughout the country, teaching people how to repair motors, electronics, hairdressing and make-up, clothing and cooking.

Kong Kolline, a master craftsman and also a trainer at the Socheat Beauty School where students’ studíes include steaming, styling hair, skin polishing and nail decorating, said her students were a mix of people from the countryside and those who live in the city.

“They cannot catch up with school lessons and some think they only have to spend a little time doing vocational training and they can earn a living by opening their own business,” said Kong Kolline.

This idea was echoed by Chhun Chhea, 26, who came to Phnom Penh from Takeo province to learn how to become a mechanic and fix cars. Chhun Chhea said he had spent one year at university and he stopped to learn how to repair cars and then started working in this field after studying for one year.

“I quit studying at university because I didn’t have enough money and my brain seems not to be designed for studying,” said Chhun Chhea, who explained that he faced some challenges because he had never had to use his mechanical skills before, but he had adjusted and now loved this job.

He said that after getting vocational training it was easy to earn good money, not like working in an administrative office job where people earned little money.

“I just repair a small part which doesn’t take long and I get $5 to $6 or more than that,” he said, adding that completing a university course takes a long time, but people who join the workforce also have to learn new skills, and he is now on his way to opening his own garage.

The Vimean Tep Technical School opened more than 20 years ago and has more than 200 students now studying there. It is a vocational training center in Phnom Penh where students can learn skills that include how to repair cars, motors, phones, televisions, radios, electronics and air-conditioners.

Chab Siphat, a director and trainer at Vimean Tep Technical School, said the number of students studying at his school keeps increasing because people see that their graduates are getting jobs. “Vocational subjects are easy to earn money from, take little time, cost less money and can help you earn a living for life, the same as those who go to study at university,” said Chab Siphat, who added that those who cannot read or write can still learn skills, although it gets hard for them to remember things if they cannot write things down or read.

At Vimean Tep Technical School, students can learn how to repair motors by spending only US$120, or they can spend $350 and learn how to repair telephones.

Lao Heum, the director of the department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, said vocational training is a good way to reduce unemployment and poverty in the country because vocational training enables youth to gain enough ability and capacity to enter the work force.

“We need only one or two engineers if we want to construct a building, while we cannot hire only one or two construction workers or technicians to build it, so we need a lot of vocational workers in the country,” said Lao Heum.

According to the Labor and Social Trends in Cambodia 2010 report from the National Institute of Statistics, with support from the International Labour Organisation, the Kingdom “desperately requires” skilled labour – such as mechanics, electrical technicians and workers in the hospitality industry – that is where the bulk of employment is being created.

“Most young people in Cambodia are studying majors such as accounting and management, which is also good, but if more and more people go into these fields, finding jobs will become more and more difficult,” said Tun Sophorn, a National Coordinator for Cambodia at the International Labour Organisation.

“I want the media as well as the relevant institutions to help broadcast the fact that parents should guide their children to study skills according to the marketplace and not just follow one another so they will not face problems in finding a job,” said Lao Heum.

By: Dara Saoyuth and Touch YinVannith
This article was published on Lift, Issue 48 published on December 08, 2010
You can also read the article on Phnom Penh Post website by CLICKING HERE
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Opening ceremony of a three-day seminar on TVET


I’ve Just returned from joining the opening ceremony of a three-day seminar and exhibition on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Cambodia.

Currently, I have not much to writ because I arrived when the opening ceremony end. Luckily, I met some journalists whose faces are familiar to me because of several meetings earlier. Talking and sharing to each other is what journalist as me like, so at least I got some information about the event.

I decided not to write much until a later post, so now please enjoy some photos including one short video clip of some electronic and technical instruments created by students from different Universities, vocational training centers and organizations. All the instruments, which most of them look strange and awesome to me, are showing for the whole three-day seminar. Enjoy!!!

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By: Dara Saoyuth
25/10/2010
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