The Cambodian Mine Action Centre’s (CMAC) newest graduating class of 60 on Tuesday finished their training on clearing mines and unexploded ordnance at CMAC’s Technical Institute of Mine Action (TIMA) in Kampong Chhnang province.

The graduates were trained in both theory and actual practice for four months.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said the 60 graduates are offspring of retired CMAC officials who see it as an opportunity to continue their parents’ work.

“We allow children of our retired officials to do this work. They have descendents who have the ability and talent to fulfil the work. We selected them through a tough selection process that involves passing an examination,” he said.

One of the 60 trainees, Sok Kakada, said he received a lot of knowledge and skill from CMAC coaches that he will use in the field.

Kakada said he wanted to join CMAC to clear remaining mines left over from wars in Cambodia. He also wanted to continue the work of his father who was an expert in mine clearance.

“Before joining this training, I took the exam. There was no corruption even though I have a father who was a former official. There were a lot of difficulties but I committed to studying hard and will use my skills to serve society,” he said.

CMAC said its 1,013 former officials who are retired or disabled will be incorporated into the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces under the Ministry of National Defence and will receive their pension.