2013 China-ASEAN Vocation Educational Exhibition and Forum

2013 China-ASEAN Vocation Educational Exhibition and Forum

By Sam Sophorn

Representing the University of Cambodia Dr. Sokhom Sovathana (Vice-President for Academic Affairs) and Mr. Sam Sophorn (Assistant to Vice-President for Academic Affairs) joined a Cambodian delegation from the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) in attending the 2013 China-ASEAN Vocational Education Exhibition and Forum at Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region. The Cambodian delegation was led by H.E. Im Sethy (Minister of MoEYS). It aimed to promote educational collaboration between Cambodian and Chinese higher education institutions.

The University of Cambodia attended the event with two main purposes. The fi rst was to promote UC’s programs and achievements over the last 10 years to Chinese educational institutions. The second was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Guangxi University of Foreign Language for educational collaboration in various areas including exchanges of faculty, researchers, students, cultural traditions, academic information, co-organization of academic seminars and other opportunities as appropriate. All-in-all, there were more than twenty MOUs signed between China and ASEAN vocational institutions aimed at promoting educational collaboration in the Asia region.

H.E. Tauch Choeun (Director General of Youth, MoEYS) led a Cambodian educational team that included Dr. Sokhom Sovathana, Mr. Sam Sophorn and other three offi cials from MoEYS on a visit Guangxi University of Foreign Languages (GUFL). Mr. Zhou Zhaoxiang (President of GUFL) and Ms. Li Lu (Vice Presient of GUFL) hosted a meeting to discuss the current situation regarding Cambodian Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET). Talk of possibly setting up of a joint Confucius Institute and Chinese-Cambodian Culture Research Center in Cambodia were mentioned.

Mr. Du Zhanyuan (Deputy Ministry, Ministry of Education of China) and speeches by Mrs. Li Kang Vice Governor of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) and Mr. Chaturon Chaisang (Minister, Ministry of Education of Thailand) opened the Exhibition and Forum in the afternoon. An elaborate ceremony was conducted which included cultural shows, artwork displays, and technological innovations of the local students of Guangxi vocational institutions were also showed off. The event also included a vocational exhibition, with of more than forty booths representing various universities and vocational institutions from ASEAN who are collaborating with the vocational institutions in Guangxi.

On the following day, the China-ASEAN Vocational Education Forum was conducted. Mrs. Li Kang (Vice Governor of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) gave an overview about the historical and socioeconomical background of Guangxi and its major task to carry out a state-level pilot program on TVET in the eastern part of China. Mr. Ge Daokai (Director General of Department of Vocational Education and Adult Education of Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China) noted that there was commitment by the Chinese government in developing and reforming of TVET. Mr. Ge emphasized that there is a need for an improved master plan, reform from quantity-oriented approach to quality-oriented approach, build collaboration between vocational schools and business, identify strategic direction, and build collaborations with ASEAN on TVET.

Minister Im Sethy emphasized a need of building modern Cambodian TVET programs taking into account for various factors such as globalization of trade and employment; the mobility of labor forces; the integration of Cambodia into the ASEAN community in 2015, value, relevant and responsiveness of the programs. H.E. Sethy also noted that the success of China’s TVET is a good lesson for the region and he also stressed that Cambodia will continue to collaborate with China with respect to TVET.