Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Keynote Address at the Conferment of Degrees and Diplomas to Under-Graduate Students

Keynote Address at the Conferment of Degrees and Diplomas to Under-Graduate Students, Inauguration of a New Class-Room Building and Ground-Breaking Ceremony for the Construction of a New Library of the Svay Rieng University

Svay Rieng, July 19, 2010

- Your Venerable Monks,

- Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

- Beloved Compatriots,

I am pleased to be here once again in Svay Rieng province to witness the warmest hospitality from all the compatriots at the “Conferment of Degrees and Diplomas to Under-Graduate Students, Inauguration of a New Class-Room Building and Ground-Breaking Ceremony for the Construction of a New Library of Svay Rieng University”. I recall that I was here in January 2006 to inaugurate the “Svay Rieng University” that provided higher education programs to students in Svay Rieng and nearby provinces to develop their skill and capacity to build their own future and contribute to national development. I would like to show my appreciation to all of the 791 graduates who have worked hard to overcome all challenges and obtain the degrees and diplomas.

Over the past four years, apart from its achievement in human resource development, the Svay Rieng Univesrsity has also built some physical infrastructure such as class-room buildings, library building, and educational facilities. Specifically, we are now inaugurating a new two-storey building and opening ground-breaking ceremony for the construction a new library. Therefore, the Svay Rieng University has solid physical infrastructure for training and development skilled and capable human resources. Taking this opportunity, I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to the management team and officials of the university whose role of human resource development has taken part in Cambodia’s socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

The above achievements indeed remind us of indebtedness owed to late H.E. Gen. Hok Lundy, former Commissioner of the National Police, provincial authority and charitable people for initiating and supporting the establishment of the Svay Rieng University. Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to pay tribute to late H.E. Gen. Hok Lundy, former commissioner of the National Police and thank H.E. Hun Neng, Excellencies, Oknhas, ladies and gentlemen for their contributions, which would made this university possible to realize and we all witness. These charitable activities of national conscious will be remembered and recorded in the history. This exemplary inspire the present and future generations to contribute in socio-economic development and ensure sustainable and equitable education for everyone in the society and give them hope in life.

I take great pride in the achievements of the education sector, both in terms of quantity and quality. Along with this, we have implemented the Law on Education adopted on December 8, 2007 and other supporting policies and strategies such as the Education Strategic Plan and the Education Sector Support Program 2009-2010. Moreover, I strongly support the Development Plan for Higher Education Teachers and Administrative Officers, Single Framework for Curriculum Development and Accreditation, Action Plan for Promoting the Use of Information System in the Management of Higher Education, and the Plan for transforming all Public Higher Education Institutions into Independent Public Entity. Through this, I strongly believe that higher education institutions will be able to make a significant progress, both in terms of quantity and quality, and gain international recognition to welcome foreign students.

This progress indeed cannot be achieved without the Royal Government’s clear vision and action plans, joint efforts among all stakeholders including support from development partners, national and international organizations, the private sector and especially the public. More importantly, I observe the present trend of building universities in municipalities and provinces to provide education services on-site such as the University of Battambang, Meanchey University, Chea Sim Kamchay Mea University, the Svay Rieng University and so forth. In this connection, I think we should encourage and provide our full support for the establishment of new universities within other municipalities and provinces to provide on-site education to reduce spending of sending their children to distant higher education institutions and to realize the vision of “one province, one university”. With this regard, I request the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, the municipal and provincial authorities and relevant institutions to work on quality improvement in those higher education institutions to produce skilled, qualified and ethical workers.

To realize the target of “one province, one university”, we must promote the education and training of professional skills that are highly suitable for local and rural development such as agriculture, rural development, agro-industry, health, enterprise management etc. so that the graduates can further take part in local development, that is “development human resource in the province for provincial development”. Therefore, we must ensure that provincial graduates acquire the right knowledge, skills and techniques, more importantly national conscious and will. Particularly, we must encourage them to learn and work with government institutions, private sector and civil society that could be in the form of internship, thesis writing, or workshop participation. Currently, a large number of studying and graduated youths, especially in Svay Rieng province, are working in government’s provincial institutions, the private sector and civil society in their hometown as local authorities pay specific attention to employment opportunity for capable and competent youths. Through this, I would like to request municipal/provincial authorities, district authorities and commune/sangkat authorities to provide employment opportunities to local youths so that they can take part in the development effort.

Youths are comparable to bamboo shoots, as they will become the country’s future leaders and officials. This requires them to study hard on technical skill and respect ethical rules. Youths must remember there is no an end to education because of constant technological change. In this connection, they must work hard and be active for all kinds of work, understand management philosophy as well as politics, economics and social issues. I think they will be an important component of development as most educated youths are now assuming important positions, with full of potential and energy.

All the 791 graduates will receive their degrees and diplomas in a moment, but you must adhere to the concept of “Endless Learning” by all means to become wise, rational and ethical resource in the society. I strongly believe you will apply and adapt your knowledge and know-how into real work and adhere to ethical codes in the pursuit of self and social development. Along with this, I strongly encourage the Svay Rieng University to continue its training and education effort to deliver competent human resources.

We will soon inaugurate a new building named “Hok Lundy Building” and break ground for construction of a new library. We will get additional achievement to meet the needs in the education sector. Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate the management team and all staff of the University for their fruitful achievements so far. Also, I would like to thank the university’s management team, administrative staff and lecturers, relevant institutions, development partners and the private sector for providing emotional and financial support in human resource development effort in Cambodia.

Finally, I would like to wish Venerable Monks, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, especially my beloved compatriots four gems of buddhist blessings - longevity, nobility, healthiness, and vitality.

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