May 12, 2009
More than 100 boarders were on the school’s premises when the incident occurred at about 6 a.m. but no one was hurt, the school said in a press release.
The fire did not spread beyond the two soundproof rooms but two firefighters failed to save the facilities that were built in February.
School rector Salesian Father John Visser said losses amounted to tens of thousands of U.S. dollars. The studios and equipment, used for students’ media education, had been bought with donations from benefactors in the Netherlands.
In an interview, Ros Buntha, head of the school’s social communication department, said two computers, a projector and other audiovisual materials such as CDs, VCDs, video cassettes, cables and microphones were completely destroyed.
Vice rector Father Albeiro Rodas, coordinator of the school’s social communication projects, said the fire was a setback for the school, but hopes to receive support and assistance from the public.
“We wanted the studios to be a center of production for the education and development of this country,” he said, adding that he plans to rebuild the facilities.
“We are going to do it better … We believe in the young people and we believe in Cambodia,” he added.
Don Bosco Technical School is a leading vocational training institute in Cambodia run by Salesian priests. Apart from Sihanoukville, it has four other campuses in the country, in Battambang, Kep, Phnom Penh and Poipet.
The institute provides technical skills training to thousands of young Cambodians and the campus in Sihanoukville has a yearly enrollment of more than 350.
Saint John Bosco, commonly known as Don Bosco, founded the Salesian society in the mid-1800s in Italy.