PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/Asia News Network): In an effort to train a skilled tourism workforce, the government has started integrating tourism-related subjects into grades 10, 11 and 12 in general and technical secondary schools. The subjects, which will be taught alongside traditional subjects, have been introduced in four schools.
The Ministry of Tourism laid out the curriculum, which offers a complete set of tourism skills, in a Dec. 28 announcement.
Try Chhiv, director of the National Committee for Tourism Professional Secretariat, said the three-year curriculum starts in Grade 10.
Alongside general education subjects such as Khmer literature, English, physics, geography, history, civics and economics, students will spend 836 hours learning about tourism, with practical and theoretical classes.
In the second year, Grade 11, they will study the same number of hours, continuing their studies and introducing realistic training scenarios. Grade 12 students will study 798 hours per year.
“For three years, students will learn about food and beverage service, front-desk, food production, housekeeping, tour operations, plus general knowledge and other soft skills,” he added.
Chhiv said the students will get a certificate which is equivalent to a high school diploma, so that they can continue to study tourism management at the university.
Martalia Lo, head of the ACT Academy of Career and Technology, said the academy will offer three years of courses in grades 10, 11 and 12. Classes will alternate between three months of theoretical study and three months of practical.
Upon graduation, the students will be fully capable of running a tourism business, he said.
“Thanks to the new curriculum, these high school students will become tourism specialists – a very useful resource in this sector,” he added.
Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Asia Pacific Travel Association’s Cambodia chapter, praised the initiative.
“I support this initiative because it will give them the concrete skills, and knowledge they need to work or run a tourism business,” he added.
According to the tourism ministry, the four schools selected to implement the curriculum were ACT Career and Technology Academy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia-Japan Friendship Technical Education Center in Siem Reap province, Kampong Chheu Teal Institute of Technology in Kampong Thom province and Saint Francois General Knowledge High School. in Takeo province.