Sharing is caring
In early June, we hosted a Sharing Event for the grade 12 students at Kralanh High School. The primary focus of the event was the idea of vocational training, for many of whom this was a new concept. This area of focus was chosen due to its direct link with the scholarship opportunity being offered by PEPY Empowering Youth, which was also announced and explained at the event. We are offering 15 scholarship opportunities for two-year vocational courses; this year our work has become more focused, which is why we are therefore offering scholarships solely for vocational courses.
The reason for this shift in focus is a reaction to the governmental reforms of the education system, which are currently taking place in Cambodia with the underlying aim of enhancing the country’s economic development. There is an existing shortage of skilled laborers, despite the fact that these jobs are in high demand. In addition to this, there are also high levels of saturation in academic areas, leaving university graduates struggling to find work for which they are qualified. Therefore, the government is placing restrictions on academic courses, and emphasizing vocational training; it is also working hard to make the sector more appealing, and to dismiss preexisting misconceptions that vocational jobs are always low paid. Moreover, vocational training courses are only two years in length, by comparison to the three years spent on an academic degree; this means that PEPY Empowering Youth can achieve its primary goal of helping Kralanh graduates access skilled employment sooner.
With this in mind, we invited a number of speakers to broaden the students’ knowledge of the concept of vocational courses, training and career paths. The speakers were representatives and students of the Paul Dubrule and Chantiers-Ecoles de Formation Professionnelle (CEFP) vocational schools in Siem Reap. The representative from Paul Dubrule presented information about the hospitality and tourism courses and skills to be learnt at the school, as well as the administration and testing processes. After this, PEPY Empowering Youth scholarship students Chhunly and Ronouch spoke about their experiences at the school, the benefits they had gained from vocational training, and provided encouraging words in favor of pursuing further education. Similarly, fellow second year scholarship student Sitham engaged with the high school students about his experience of studying at CEFP, where he is pursuing his dream of becoming an electrician.
Our overall aim for the event was to increase the understanding of the concepts surrounding vocational learning amongst the students, as well as making them aware of the scholarship opportunity. We chose to specifically target grade 12 as our audience, as they are currently in the situation where they are making decisions about potentially pursuing such prospects. It is our hope that having exposed them to the information at the event, as many of the students as possible will be encouraged by their new found understanding to apply to our scholarship program; we look forward to welcoming our new scholarship students in late October/early November!