Bunthoeun, an Electrical Maintenance and Fitting trainer from Kratie province, completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical maintenance at the Preah Kossomak Polytechnic institute (PPI) in Phnom Penh. He kicked off his professional career in 2012 at a private company, and at the same time started his own Electrical shop in his hometown.
He has loved teaching since he was young, which led him to become a trainer at the Provincial Vocational Training Centre (PTC). “I started my work as a trainer not only to upgrade my own skills, but also to inspire disadvantaged youth to gain a specific skill for the betterment of their life,” says 37-year-old Bunthoeun.
He believes that vocational training is a crucial pathway for those who cannot afford formal education after secondary education. “I see many young women and men in my province who cannot pursue higher education. I want to transmit my skills and knowledge to them, so they can make their own way in becoming professionals. With the support of the Skills Development programme (SDP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, I now have a better opportunity to offer training in electrical maintenance.”
When schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he adapted his training methods by switching to e-learning courses with support from the SDP. This has been a challenging process: “Training during the pandemic has been difficult. Thanks to the SDP and PTC, I could strengthen my abilities in information technologies that are indispensable to provide online training. I am now capable of preparing online lessons in PowerPoint, and I master the Zoom and Google Form applications. I am committed to taking the challenge to continuously learn new things as this is the only way to ensure the continuity of training for my students.”
Bunthoeun goes beyond a trainer by bringing his trainees into real practice. “I have my own electrical maintenance shop. Every time I get orders from my customers, I always engage my students in the project. This is part of my commitment to bring them into real working life so that they can provide services after graduation.” He mentioned.
Making more people aware of the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is his long-term perspective. He envisions that TVET will play an important role in alleviating poverty through the efforts of the government in collaboration with relevant developments partners, particularly the Skills Development Programme. On his professional growth side, he still continues his teaching journey and wishes to pursue his study to a Master's Degree.