Students who failed this year’s grade-9 and grade-12 examinations should not despair as the government has provided alternative options for those who want to continue their studies, a Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training official said.
Speaking to The Post yesterday, ministry spokesman Heng Sour said that it would allow students to enrol in a vocational training programme – irrespective of their test results – and that it has prepared more than 10,000 scholarships to assist them.
Noting a high demand for vocational training graduates in the Kingdom’s labour market, Sour said there are many institutions that would accept those who would like to learn a specific professional skill.
“[Students] should not only focus on formal higher education as it is not the only way to gain skills,” he said.
Sour said students failing the grade-9 examinations could enrol in the grade-1 skills training which lasts for a year. At the end of this level, they would gain sufficient skills that may lead them to employment.
“But, if they do not want to quit studying, they can pursue the grade-2 and grade-3 skills training. The grade-3 completion certificate is equivalent to a high school diploma,” Sour said.
He said students failing the grade-12 examinations could go for the intermediate vocational programme which lasts for two years. Upon completion, they would receive a higher skill diploma which is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree awarded by a university.
Heng Sour stressed that professions such as auto mechanics, electricians, civil engineers, automobile engineers, air conditioning mechanics and construction workers are highly sought after in the Kingdom.
“[Students] will be contacted by employers even before they have completed the training. They will be recruited quickly and will earn a high salary too.”
He said a total of 13,787 scholarships have been prepared for the students. Of that number, several are provided by 39 technical and vocational training schools, of which at least one can be found in any province or city throughout the Kingdom, citing the announcement issued by the ministry in late August.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) spokesman Dy Khamboly said his ministry has structured a myriad of educational frameworks – covering formal and informal education – for the Cambodian people.
“The education ministry has policies for students wishing to study. Those who fail the examinations can pursue vocational studies.”
Khamboly said that the Kingdom is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled workers.
He stressed the importance of investment in vocational training to produce skills that can match the demand in the labour market, which he said is crucial to transforming Cambodia into an upper-middle-income nation by 2030 and high-income nation by 2050.
Last week, the education ministry fixed the technical problems that affected the mathematics examination scores of more than 700 classes.
But as of yesterday, there were still some students filing complaints and expressing their dissatisfaction over their examinations results.
“We have yet to calculate how many students have filed complaints up to Monday,” Khamboly said.