Friday, May 29, 2009

Address at the Graduation Ceremony for Teacher Trainees of 13th Promotion (Bachelor+1) and 10t Promotion (Lower Secondary) in French-Khmer

National Institute of Education, 29 April 2009

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Directors, Deputy Directors,

Board of Directors, Lecturers and Academic Staffs,

Dear Teachers and Students!

Today I am really pleased to participate in the “Graduation Ceremony for Teacher Trainees of 13th Promotion (Bachelor+1) and 10t Promotion (Lower Secondary) in French-Khmer” at the National Institute of Education with 543 graduates. The achievement and fruitful outcome we have achieved today further contribute to the social development in the Kingdom of Cambodia, especially in improving and expanding our education system. At the same time, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations and appreciations for your utmost efforts in attaining such fruitful success. This current result is truly another new pride and prestige for us all including you as graduates and your families.

Based on the report by Dr. Im Koch, Director of the National Institute of Education (NIE) and H.E. Im Sothy, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), I am confident that this outcome is only one of the new achievements that the NIE and MoEYS have accomplished in further expanding the achievements of the Royal Government in implementing the reform in all sectors by mainly focusing on human resource development, institutional capacity building, and physical infrastructure development, particularly roads bridges, irrigation systems, utilities, education and health, which are our urgent and primary need for the development of Cambodia. Today’s achievement is indeed a key for improving higher education and overall education and training sector in general, as well as accelerating national economic development. In this sense, education and training sector will remain the Royal Government’s priority in formulating development policies as this sector is the foundation of growth and productivity. Along with this, further strengthening and expansion of attained human resource development will ensure the nation’s competitive advantage and play a crucial role in sustaining growth in all sectors.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and on my wife’s and my behalf, I would like to express my appreciation for the outcome attained by the NIE as well as the MoEYS who have transformed teacher trainees into qualified teachers with competence, professional skill and conscience. These achievements indeed cannot be separated from the effort made by the University’s management, lecturers as well as development partners who provide support to successfully manage the teacher trainings in order to take part in the development of higher education and lower-secondary education in Cambodia.

The Royal Government has set human resource development as a strategic angle in the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency, which has been designed to alleviate poverty and accelerate national development. In fact, in the situation that global peace culture is facing the international terrorism, I realize that education is significant to address all economic and social issues to become a society where people can live together with mutual respects, love and support, no violence and no discrimination on the basis of gender, race and status.

Over recent years, the Royal Government has made substantial progress in education sector through quality improvement both in public and private institutions, better education infrastructure, and more efficient and improved teaching methodologies, which are gradually responding to the demand of local and regional workforce. In the face of fierce competition coupled with the global crisis, I think the education and training programs must be oriented on vocational skills to enable students to fully utilize these skills in their future careers by starting with simple techniques in agricultural and craft production, which will gradually switch Cambodian economy to be knowledge-based and move from an economy of comparative advantage to competitive advantage. In this regard, we must produce intelligent, highly skilled and competent workforce.

In deed, capacity building is time-consuming and requires firm efforts from various players including policy makers, executing agencies, development partners, local people, and other stakeholders by focusing on both knowledge and know-how. Also, technology transfer and management approach are important determinants, which have to be paid attention by the education sector and to be linked with education experience around us. I think that technology transfer does not only refer to the transfer of tools or equipments through purchases or donations, but also improves the awareness of domestic users on new products and use of those technologies. Along with this, we must promote production and business ability, technology licensing, joint research, cooperation and exchange program among higher education institutions, infrastructural services etc. Moreover, technology transfer is everything about facilitating adaptation and dissemination of new technologies in a country.

In this spirit, I request the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to pay more attention to science and technology education in order to transform students into quality and productive producers due to the fact that if science and technology education is limited the quality products cannot be produced.

Along with this, I would like to appeal to all public and private education institutions to give priority to the teaching and quality improvement of basic science for effective teaching of other majors.

I strongly believe that “the value of education is always a mean for personal and national development”. On the road toward globalized economy, globalized higher education plays critical function to develop education and training sector with quality, efficiency and to further expand international cooperation, which in turn results in mutual understanding on the basis of mutual interest and equality.

At the same time, our education sector shall focus on quality; otherwise our energy and budget spent will be useless because education that does not take quality first will hinder benefits of our students and our effort to build national capacity to confront challenges in the fiercely competitive world. In this sense, I would like to request all higher education institutions to direct to resolving social issues through researches, students’ thesis writing, especially to resource management, promotion of new way of thinking and research methodology and modern teaching methodology which are necessary for systematic thinking and for incorporating cultural, social and economic factors into rural environmental system analysis and usage of mixed group. Moreover, I would like to appeal to ministries/institutions, higher education institutions, international organizations, civil society and private sector to encourage and facilitate our researchers for this purpose.

Indeed, 543 graduates, who will receive certificates in the moment, will be proud of their own efforts by successfully completing their education. However, you must adhere to learning in any form when you enter into society and working and follow strictly teacher professional ethics aiming at promoting dignity and quality and efficiency of education. From now on, you will understand clearly that this knowledge must be complemented by experience and be coupled with innovative ideas either according to real work circumstance or situation. In this spirit, you must be always patient and industrious to absorb work experience, which is the foundation for progress in livelihood and for contribution to social development. Hence, learning which is complemented by self-study and self-research will promote capacity and intellectual enrichment.

As proved, I believe that you will surely become teachers of quality and educate our youth into intellectuals of reasoning power and good moral to develop Cambodia into society of good morality, dignity and high skill for national development. Along with, I would like to appeal to parents and guardians to keep teaching children to follow the way of the Dharma and to self-learn by cooperating with schools, professors, teachers and all academic staff in order to build a generation of youth full of development in all aspect, particularly to have knowledge, to know how to conduct self-study, to have know-how, to self-recognize and to live in peace and harmony aiming at training students to become “good children, good students, good friends and good citizens”, which are the four pillars of education.

Finally, my wife and I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen and all teacher trainee graduates 4 gems of Buddhist blessings: longevity, nobility, health and strength.


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