VietNamNet Bridge – Most of the sea-relating economics, from oil and gas, seafood processing to service sectors, have close relations to hydrometeorology and oceanography. Meanwhile, Vietnam only has two schools that train bachelors in the fields, while the number of students registering to study the majors just account for 0.04 percent of total students.
Part 2: Vietnamese students don’t want to enter navigation schools
Vietnam not ready yet in labor force for developing sea-borne economy
Many jobs, few workers
Le Duc Vinh is one of the 30 students of the Physics Faculty of the HCM City University for Natural Sciences, who has graduated from the training course on hydrometeorology and oceanography. Vinh is from Thanh Hoa province, but he plans to apply for a position at the meteorological and hydrological station in Ben Tre province, because his homeland does not have the demand for the officers in the fields.
Vinh said that he will study further while working. “I know a lot of agencies need to recruit personnel who can work on the sea, but my knowledge is not deep enough,” he said.
Dr Tran Thuc, Head of the Hydrometeorology and the Environment Institute, said that the demand for hydrometeorology and oceanography officers is very high, but current training establishments cannot provide enough workers. The existing schools in Hanoi and HCM City can provide some 100 bachelors and post-graduates every year.
According to Dr Vo Luong Hong Phuoc from the HCM City University for Natural Sciences, the school plans to enroll 100 students every year for hydrometeorology and oceanography training, but only 60 students enroll in the faculty.
Of these, only 30 students graduate the school and only 60 percent of the graduates take the jobs in the trained fields. Vietnam has 28 provinces and cities which have coastal management department of sea and islands, but the number of officers who have deep knowledge about ocean and sea environment remains very modest.
Meanwhile, a recent workshop on training labor force for the natural resources and environment management heard that demand for qualified personnel specialized in the field of climate change research will become extremely urgent.
Dr Le Dinh Mau from the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute, one of the scientists who gives lectures to oceanography students, noted that with the current material facilities, Vietnam will never be able to produce enough workers for the national economy.
“There are no vessels and measuring equipments for marine research. Meanwhile, the existing vessel of the institute can only allow to conduct the measurement at the limited depth,” he complained.
Hydrometeorology and oceanography are the sciences which relate to many basic sciences including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology to geology and the environment. While following training courses, students have to attend a lot of field research trips on land and on the sea.
It takes students 7-10 days at least for each trip during which they have to do a lot of work. It is estimated that it costs some 1 million dong for each trip. Meanwhile, the state budget only spends 100,000 dong to support the internship of every student, according to Phuoc.
Having returned from an internship period at the Nha Trang Oceanography, Nguyen Thi Kim Hoang, a student of the HCM City University of Natural Resources, said that the trip was really interesting, but she is not sure about the achievements, because too many goals were set up for just a short trip.
Dr Nguyen Chu hoi, Deputy Director of the General Department of Sea and Islands of Vietnam, believes that it is now necessary to establish a general university which trains the officers for sea-relating economic sectors. He said that most of the officers now work on their experiences rather on their knowledge obtained from schools. Meanwhile, the officers are getting old and they will retire in some years, when Vietnam will seriously lack the labor force in the fields.