Launch of degree-offering school could come this year
Photo by: SOVANN PHILONG
The Phnom Penh Port near Wat Phnom. A new maritime institute is set to open later this year, officials say.
THE Cambodian Maritime Institute, the first school in the Kingdom to
offer associate's and bachelor's degrees in maritime studies, could
potentially open in time for the 2009-10 academic year, said Hei Bavy,
director general of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP), in an
interview with the Post Monday.
Hei Bavy declined to say how
much it would cost to open the school, which will be operated by the
PPAP with assistance from the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP) and
under supervision from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. But
he said officials had thus far received 60 percent of the money and
equipment necessary to begin operations.
Funding for the
school will come from the two ports, the ministry, student fees and
donor countries, Hei Bavy said, adding that the European Union, for
instance, had already provided financial support and plans to supply
the school with a navigation simulator by mid-2009.
"If we get
more support from development partners on time, I think we can start
our first academic program this year because we are ready," he said.
Need for workers
Bavy said rapid growth in the domestic maritime industry had created a
high demand for workers and, concurrently, an institute in which to
Presently, the only domestic maritime courses on
offer are those at the Cambodian Maritime Training Centre, which offers
short courses - ranging in length from four to 12 weeks - on skills
such as navigation, Hei Bavy said.
He said ships looking to
fly the Cambodian flag are required to have a crew that is 20-percent
Cambodian. He said he expected one-quarter of all licensed ship
captains in the Kingdom to be interested in attending the institute
because of the many employment opportunities in the industry.
Lack of interest?
a 2008 report released by the Cambodian Federation of Employers and
Business Associations found that only one percent of university and
vocational training students wanted to work in the shipping and
Lou Kim Chhun, chairman and chief
executive officer of the SAP, said the increase in qualified maritime
workers the institute would likely generate could help him fill
positions at the port, which employs 1,160 people.
many jobs available on the ships for Cambodians, but right now they
have no chance to get them," said Zew Min Win, general manager of Mong
Reththy Port in Koh Kong province.