Cambodia plans new geology school to equip new generation to participate in Extractive Industries
Phnom Penh, 8 December 2010: The Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) held a meeting with key stakeholders today to discuss plans to reestablish its Department of Geo-resources and Geotechnical Engineering after many years of suspension.
The design of a curriculum and business model for the department were among the topics discussed at the one-day workshop, which marked a milestone in the path to secure the long term benefits of the country’s extractive industries for the people of Cambodia.
H.E. Phoeurng Sackona, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, underlining the significance of the workshop, stated that ITC aims to play a key role in reducing poverty in Cambodian society by providing students with cutting edge technical skill and know-how in the geosciences and geotechnical engineering and related disciplines.
Cambodia held its first international mining conference in May. In his keynote speech to the conference, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen called for re-opening of the geology school to enable Cambodians to play a role in developing to Cambodia’s nascent mining and oil and gas sectors, and to meet anticipated labor demand. In the follow-up to the Prime Minister’s call, the ITC announced its plans to re-establish the geology school. The workshop on Wednesday represented tangible step to move these plans forward.
Education is a key part of building a responsible mining and oil & gas sector in Cambodia. Through knowledge, Cambodians will be equipped to make the right choices for an extractive industries sector that is both dynamic, and socially and environmentally responsible. The new school, it is hoped, will generate renewed interest by young Cambodians in the Earth Sciences, thus preparing them to become leaders in the field of extractive industries.
Mr. Douglas Broderick, UNDP Resident Representative, said in his remarks at the workshop that the benefits from the new school would be far-reaching for Cambodia.
“In opening this school, we are not only investing in Cambodian youth,” Mr. Broderick said. “By establishing a centre of academic excellence in the field of Geo-resources and Geotechnical Engineering, we are also contributing to ensuring lasting benefits for the country in the extractive industries sector in terms of greater scientific innovation, new knowledge, and ultimately, more professional, well paying jobs for Cambodian citizens,” he said.
ITC is sponsoring the workshop with UNDP support. The event was attended by some 60 participants, including representatives of development partners and private sector. They discussed how to engage young Cambodians in the extractive industries, how to build a geology school that is sustainable, looking also at possibilities of creating close links with the private sector. Engagement of public sector agencies is deemed as an essential part for ensuring sustainability of the school. The school plans to start first classes in late 2011 and is expected to produce the first group of students in 2015.
Everyone – the government, private sector, and development partners – has a role to play in charting a successful future of the school, said Dr. Om Romny, Director-General of the ITC.
“The sustainability of the school requires a sound business model, an excellent understanding of the extractive industries labor market. No lest important are the support, commitment, and assistance of the government, private sector, and development partners to make this school a lasting success,” he said.
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- Related topics: Poverty Reduction
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