Transformative Aquaculture Education Unveiled to Propel Cambodia's Fisheries Sector

Published: Jan 24, 2024 Reading time: 5 minutes
Transformative Aquaculture Education Unveiled to Propel Cambodia's Fisheries Sector
© Foto: Koy Chanpor

Phnom Penh, December 2023 – The Vocational Orientation Department of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) and People in Need—with funds from the Czech Development Agency (CzDA)— have introduced a groundbreaking technical and vocational skills curriculum. Aimed at Cambodia's youth, the curriculum blends theory and practice in fish hatchery, fish breeding, and food processing. The curriculum aims to improve secondary technical education in aquaculture in line with the dynamic demands of the market.

"The new curriculum is a response to the imperative need for elevating the quality of aquaculture education, aligning the youth's skills with market requirements", emphasised Mr. Rath Sara, Director of Vocational Orientation Department, Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport.

The three-year curriculum is structured to build expertise progressively. Students learn fish biology and physiology in year 1, farming and aquaculture skills in year 2, and culminate with farm management, water quality management, and business development in year 3.

Furthermore, fish processing has been integrated into existing livestock and food processing curricula. It has introduced vital lessons on food safety and the production of diverse fish products, including smoked, fermented, and dried fish.

My Hanh Nguyen, Programme Manager at People in Need, underlined the collaborative effort. She noted that local experts underpinned the curriculum's development, ensuring its relevance and applicability in the Cambodian context.

Cambodia is endowed with rich fisheries. Therefore, Cambodians rely heavily on fish as a dietary staple, contributing significantly to their nutritional well-being and food security. Leveraging the Mekong River system, one of the world's largest inland fisheries, the country yields a staggering 2.1 million tonnes of fish annually. Consequently, the fisheries industry plays a pivotal role in Cambodia's socio-economic fabric, engaging in both commercial and recreational fishing, as well as harvesting and processing activities.

"The Government of the Czech Republic, through the Czech Development Agency, is proud to support this project, which enhances the natural resources of Cambodia's fisheries through strengthened education. It is important to ensure that quality education and resources are provided to students and teachers who will potentially advance this sector for Cambodia's development", shared Ms. Barbora Žáčková, Development Cooperation Counsellor, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Phnom Penh.

The "Streamlining Aquaculture in Cambodia's Vocation Education" Project

Inaugurated in 2023 and generously funded by the Czech Development Agency (CZDA), the project addresses critical shortcomings in technical and vocational education in the fisheries sector. These include outdated educational approaches that fail to meet market requirements, obsolete training methods and equipment, and a shortage of qualified teachers.

The initiative entails a comprehensive overhaul of existing aquaculture curricula at the secondary technical education level, aligning them closely with private sector demands. The Technical Working Group, operating under the MoEYS, will update the curricula to reflect contemporary industry needs, encompassing aspects such as food safety and hygiene standards, modern fish post-harvesting methods, certification procedures, digital skills, and marketing strategies. Additionally, the project will establish crucial linkages with the private sector by initiating internship programmes, fostering a direct connection between students and businesses.

Once endorsed, the curriculum will undergo a pilot phase. Two technical secondary schools have been selected to pilot the curriculum: Preah Bat Samdach Preah Borom Neat Norodom Sihamoni General and Technical High School (PBGT) in Kampong Chnnang Province and Kampong Chheuteal Demonstration General and Technical High School (KCGE) in Kampong Thom Province.

The pilot phase will be followed by reviews and reassessments to enhance practical implementation in the selected schools. This process will optimise student learning outcomes and foster greater employment opportunities. For the 2024 enrollment, we are aiming to reach 120 students from both schools to pilot the new curriculum. By the end of the project, we aim to reach 250 students.

Ultimately, this curriculum will help propel Cambodia's fisheries sector into an era of sustainable growth and innovation.

About People in Need Cambodia

People in Need has been providing relief and development assistance in Cambodia since 2008. Through our different and strategic programmes, (1) Disaster Management & Urban Resilience, (2) Green Energy, and (3) Sustainable Livelihoods and Environment, we aim to address the challenges both urban and rural face. We aim to ensure the delivery of quality support and output results with our respective partners from government ministries and respectable donors towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  

For more information:

About The Vocational Orientation Department, Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport

The Department of Vocational Orientation of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport is a policy and planning-making entity. It is tasked to develop vocational education and training to ensure that General and Technical High School(s) students gain knowledge and technical skills. Such skills must respond to labour market needs and foster an openness to lifelong learning. The Department of Vocational Orientation also has the mission to orient, enhance, and serve technical education services at the upper secondary level with the participation of stakeholders and development partners.

For more information:

For Media Inquiries, please contact:

Ms. Johanna Legarta, Communications Manager, People in Need Cambodia

Mr. Rath Sara, Director of Department of Vocational Orientation, Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport


Autor: Legarta Johanna, Communication Manager

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