Thursday, December 16, 2010

Address at the Degrees Conferment Ceremony

Address at the Degrees Conferment Ceremony for Pedagogical Graduates (Bachelor Degree + 1) of the 14th-15th Batch and Khmer-French Language Pedagogical Students (12 + 2) of the 11th-12th Batch

Phnom Penh, December 6th, 2010

- Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

- Board of Management, Teachers, Professors,

- Dear Pedagogical Students!

Today, my wife and I are extremely pleased to attend the Conferment of Degrees to 1280 pedagogical students who have successfully completed their studies. In this auspicious event, I would like to sincerely congratulate and admire the board of management, teachers, professors, education personnel of the National Institute of Education for making their utmost efforts to carefully educate and train our next generation of youth through knowledge transfer for the cause of human resource development in Cambodia. The prideful outcome that the National Institute of Education and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has achieved so far not only answers appropriately and timely to Royal Government’s policy and need of the nation with respect to human resource development, but also attains sustainable development of intellectual resource, improving economic efficiency and reduce poverty of our people.

Indeed, for the last several years, we had paid great attention to the education sector, especially training of teachers, human resource development, ensuring skill upgrading in order to answer to the demand of regional and national labor market. In parallel, both public and private human resource development centers in Cambodia have remarkably developed, and the number of graduates has also notably increased. Obviously, today we have 1,280 pedagogical students and graduates trained by the National Institute of Education.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to recall our effort in restoring and developing pedagogically qualified teachers from the scratch. Indeed, the National Institute of Education has made a huge contribution to the training and development sector in accordance with the national development trend, and has achieved glorious result since 1979 until now. Since 1979, the institute has been running pedagogical courses to supplement teaching profession, management and other relevant skills to about 30,000 teachers. At the same time, the institute has commenced conducting long-term training course, as result it has trained high school teachers, the so called tertiary education teachers, intermediary and primary education inspectors, primary education teachers, primary Khmer-French and Khmer-English language teachers, French language instructors and primary education instructors, in a total amount of about 10, 000 teachers since 1993. Along with this, since 2007 the institute has adopted new curriculum by using scientific experimentation and researches, operational activities and science fair of pedagogical students in addition to Information Technology subject for all, i.e. every student must be capable of using computer with Unicode programme for teaching respective specialization after having graduated to be professional teachers.

Most importantly, the National Institute of Education has been teaching pedagogical students to know how to learn, practice, know themselves, to be harmonized as well as to be proud of their own achievements. These factors will be deeply mainstreamed in our education sector in the following phase, and eventually our society will benefit from such efforts.

In response to the achievement made so far, on behalf of the government, myself and my wife, I would like to highly value and profoundly compliment the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the board of management, personnel, all teachers and professors of all education institutes for promoting human resource development by making utmost efforts in developing this institute as it is today. Moreover, the institute has the ability to train teachers to have full capacity, to be professional teachers of ethics and high responsibility.

Indeed, the world is currently in the information technological age with endless fast growing trend which require us to develop our education sector, especially by improving its quality by two folds because if this sector has no quality then our society will face a primary challenge, which is the development of human resources; and it will impact the development of our country, impact our national economic competitive advantages and our efforts will be in vain as all the costs including spirits and finance will be wasted through the lack of good quality education system. In addition, we also cannot improve our standard of living and our economic conditions if we do not have high quality workforce. In this regard, in the past I have attentively followed up with this sector and always made recommendations aimed to strengthen and expand the capacity of our people. Obviously, this task has become our important agenda in the development strategic policy and the cause for responding to other confronting problems, reforms, and the development of education sector in systematical and comprehensive forms. Parallel to this, we have also tried to gather resources from different sources including public sector, private sector, development partners, parents and custodians of students, and many other donators in order to invest, support and participate in the promotion of our education sector.

Furthermore, I always think the development of high quality human resources and the effective use of human resources is not only solving the job problems of our people and increasing their productivity, but it is a long-term vision for sustainable development and investment in strengthening and expanding our national capacity to better our comparative advantage than other nations. Because based on the experience of other countries in the region succeeding in developing their economies in the last 3 decades indicate that investment in education was started first as it was a key factor for increasing work productivity and ensuring long-lasting stable economic growth. In this spirit, we necessarily have to improve the quantity and quality of the education sector including technical and skill trainings with more incentives to draw greater investment in this sector. So, the promotion of quality of human resources is a core factor that Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports have to be highly focused on in order to conform with the view of the government and our society. For that we have to understand that training is an intertwined and inter-dependent mechanism from the beginning till the end, starting with the procedures for determining the requirements for entrance examinations, theories, practices, improving the education programs, teaching activities and learning activities, implementation of study activities, and the mechanisms of final examinations.

As I have brought up many times, if we have only peace and democracy and have no development of human resources we cannot development our country with sustainability. A country that can develop is certainly starting from the human resources of that country. So in order to ensure that Cambodia can become successful in the highly competitive situation of globalized economy, the strengthening of quality of education sector and technical and skill trainings is a must-be-satisfied condition.

Moreover, currently industrialized countries are facing with the increasing of old aged people but countries in Asia especially South Asia and South East Asia have an increasing number of young and energetic labor force. This trend shows that in the not so long term Asia will have a competitive advantage in global labor market in fulfilling the need of industry sector, factory and services. But we have to acknowledge that in the future low-cost labor force will not remain as a competitive advantage. In contrast, human capital, highly skilled and knowledgeable human resources will play a determining role in the global economic competition. Therefore, the development of high quality and healthy human resources will have to remain in the priority list of the agenda of national strategic policy development. In this view, certainly Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports have to be focused on improving education and training along with establishing other standard letters to ensure effective work and promotion of this sector.

Parallel to this, I hope that all students receiving the degrees today will have an opportunity to use your ability and knowledge in helping developing our country. You all should continue working hard, and try develop your personality. In addition, you should not abandon learning, including continue doing research. You should consider learning as an ongoing process that has no end, which better sharpen your knowledge and know-how of each individual. Through all these efforts, I believe that you all will become teachers and scholars with 3 characteristics, including the ability to educate, to do research, and good morality at work to help promote the capacity of human resources and national economic growth.

Once again, on behalf of the Royal Government and my wife and my own behalf, I would like to thank and appreciate the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and all related Institutions who have materially, spiritually and financially supported the National Institute of Education to be more successful. Along with that, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport must implement with more active actions in order to strengthen and expand with the objective to ensure the enrolment equality, quality improvement and efficiency of education service, staff and institutional development, which are the key strategies to promote these sectors in quanity and quality in all education levels throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Before ending, I would like the National Institute of Education to continue its utmost effort in order to achieve the vision set 2010-2015 by making sure that the teaching staffs are more competent in technical issues, foreign languages, use of Computers at the international standard, research in education, in order to strengthen their ownership of earning for life to transform Cambodia to become the society of true learners. At the same time, the Institute must support the quality education at the high school nationwide through creating Multi-information Centers and E-learning programs. These modern conditions must be coherently attached to the program of cooperation, training and pedagogy, which are significant factors for training teachers at the higher and foundation levels to be more progressive with quality, efficiency and high responsibility.

At the end, together with the congratulation to the granduates today, my wife and I would like to wish you all success in life and duties for our beloved nation and also wish Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen, the Management, Lecturers and Staffs of the National Institute of Education, National and International Distinguished Guests the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

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