The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training will award 19,179 scholarships for bachelor’s, master’s and technical degree courses at 38 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions across the country.
Labour minister Ith Sam Heng announced the availability of the scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year on his Facebook page on January 6.
Courses available for study under the scholarships will primarily deal with vocational skills, particularly relating to engineering and fields using specialised technologies.
TVET institutions offering scholarship seats include the National Technical Training Institute, the National Institute of Business, the Industrial Technical Institute and the National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Also included are the Cambodian-Thai Skills Development Institute, the national and Preah Kossomak polytechnic institutes as well as regional polytechnic institutes in Battambang, Kampot, Takeo and Siem Reap.
“Candidates should apply for scholarships at the TVET institutes where they will study full-time. Each institute will announce their respective closing dates,” the notice said.
Pen Pat, an admissions official at the Ratanakkiri Provincial Vocational Training Centre, said on January 6 that the centre had already selected nearly 500 students for enrolment in various courses.
There is a selection of short-term and long-term skills courses for students awarded with scholarships to choose.
“Students have gradually started to apply for scholarships. Our institution has a wide range of skills for students to choose from like electrical engineering, electronics and motor repair and mechanical servicing for cars, motorcycles and other vehicles,” Pat said.
After graduation, all students are able to work effectively in their fields, he said, adding that private companies often contact the centre seeking to recruit outstanding students to work for them. Many students, however, prefer to create their own businesses in their local villages.
An official from Prey Veng Vocational Training Centre who asked not to be named said on January 6 that the centre had announced the pre-selection of 700 students who would be given an entrance exam. Priority would be given to poor and indigenous students.
“We have this scholarship program every year. This time it’s a bit late due to the Covid-19 crisis. The curriculum offers different skills and course durations. There are short-term programmes of four to eight months and long-term programmes from 10 to 18 months. Students can enter the workforce immediately after graduation,” he said.
Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA) president Ouk Chhayavy applauded the scholarship allocations to poor students and other youths, urging vocational training centres to process applications in a transparent and fair manner without corruption.
“For individuals who are not properly qualified for higher education, we must allow them to learn technical and vocational skills. Rather than give them fish to eat, we should teach them how to fish,” she said.