VIENTIANE, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Lao railway vocational technical college, the first of its kind in Laos, located in the capital Vientiane, was officially opened to personnel for jobs on the China-Laos Railway.
The opening ceremony of the college, held on Thursday, was attended by Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith.
The college was built on a 14-hectare site and funded by a grant from the Chinese government.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director General of the Technical Vocational Education Department of the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports Nouphan Outsa said the college was an important contribution to the training of personnel for efficient operation of the railway.
Senior officials from Laos and China were in agreement on the need for a training center so that Lao nationals could be employed on the railway, he added.
Prior to the opening of the college, some 360 applicants passed entrance exams and will take courses on train driving, station services, electrical repairs and maintenance, and other railway operations.
The college's director Bounyalith Khanthachack said the college is fully prepared to receive the first batch of 360 students.
The college comprises lecture rooms, practical training facilities, an administrative building, a library, canteen, student dormitory and other facilities.
Courses will be taught by Chinese and Lao teachers who have received training on railway operations in China.
The Lao Ministry of Education and Sports is encouraging students who have finished secondary school to enroll in various fields of vocational education to support the country's socio-economic development.
More than 25 vocational technical institutions under the ministry, and 170 technical and vocational education and training centers, currently offer courses leading to diplomas and higher diplomas, and short-term training courses.
More than 80,000 graduates from vocational technical institutions in the fields of agriculture, industry and other services are needed to meet the needs of the labor market. ■