Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished International and National Guests,
Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of International Foundation for Art and Culture, Tokyo, Japan, and Chancellor of University of Cambodia,
Today, it is my great honor and pleasure to join your Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, parents, guardians, and students at the awarding ceremony of “Samdech Hun Sen National Scholarship – Outstanding Students” to the high school students thorough out the country.
Taking this opportunity, on the behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and my own behalf, I would like to express my profound thanks to Dr. Haruhisa Handa, head of World Mate Organization, chairman and founder of International Foundation for Art and Culture, Tokyo, Japan and Chancellor of University of Cambodia, who always support tertiary education in Cambodia, especially by providing full tuition fee scholarship (100%) to 500 students from every part of the county who have successfully passed high school exams and obtained distinction grade for the 2006-2007 school year.
At the same time, I would like to express my compliment and high appreciation to managements, personnel and professors of the University of Cambodia for hard work in fulfilling their duties in providing training and education to the youth who are the successors in protecting, building and developing our nation in the future.
In this auspicious occasion, I also would like to thank Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chancellor of University of Cambodia for naming this scholarship scheme as the “Samdech Hun Sen National Scholarship – Outstanding Students”.
Capacity building and human resource development are targeted priorities and clearly envisaged in the “Rectangular Strategy” of the Royal Government that focuses on economic “growth”, “employment” creation for Cambodians, promoting“equity” in the society and raising “efficiency” in the public sector. These are the policies that will lead Cambodia to be self-reliance as well as to ensure efficient involvement in regional and world arenas. However, under current circumstances, what is deserved great attention are the concrete measures to ensure that human resource development is indeed correspond to the need and demand of social and economic developments. Nowadays, we are prideful of having numerous new higher-education institutions, both public and private, that have been established both in Phnom Penh and in various provinces. Along side, we also have concerns on the management and monitoring to ensure the balance between quantity and quality of schooling. Indeed, the real measurement of quality in education is neither the number of student who have completed the program nor the number of student obtained the degree, but rather the level of progresses in skill quality and competency and the absorbing capacity of the labor market. These factors are two-edged sword, on one hand, human resource development at tertiary level can be a catalyst for faster poverty reduction; however on the other hand using education/trainings for gaining private financial benefits would press more burdens for parents and adversely affect the whole society.
In the sense, as aforementioned, I would like to take this opportunity in suggesting and encouraging all schooling institutions to improve the quality of education, to expand coverage of the training/teaching curriculums, to incorporate practical techniques and sciences consistent with the regional and international standard aiming at transforming our higher-education institutions to become more competitive in producing qualified intellectual resources in order to respond to the demand of the domestic and international labor market.
It is no doubt that training and education are vital to society, and their roles are not limited merely to human resource development in order to increase productivity; the capacity building of individual citizen in a society will allow them not only to increase financial revenue for a state or a company, but more importantly it allows them to improve their livelihood, prestige and self-esteem not just for themselves, but also for their own families as well as for the society as a whole by having highly knowledge and hard-working people that have earnings through appropriate professional and business activities and posses social morality and responsibility; these all will lead to the progresses to the whole society being as a one nation community.
Development experiences, apparently, demonstrates that prosperity of a nation lies on the class of intellectuals who play the foremost roles in leading and managing the country. Moreover, intellectual is the one who transfers knowledge and education to the next generation via literatures, writings, research documents, preservation and development of culture as well as research and scientific discoveries. In this connection, the level of development of one nation is reflected by the richness of intellectual resources and those with practical experiences both in knowledge and know-how; they are the nation strength in terms of intellectuality and prime factor to ensure nation competitiveness ability.
Indeed, in the era of knowledge and information technology of the 21st century, intellectual and talented class of society have an increasing role to play and the knowledge becomes a determinant factor to turn any economic potential and comparative advantages of a nation into reality. In this sense, I strongly convinced that “economic growth and poverty reduction can be achieved by building the foundation of human resource development”, thus “universal admiration for education is an effective mean to structure human characteristics and to promote sustainable development and to equally share the fruit of economic growth”.
These are some conceptions and visions for the education which has a leading role in equity and quality development of human resources consistent with the educational objective that is “educate to be good children, good students, good friends and good citizens” and with the four foundation of education that is “educate to have knowledge, know-how, good morality, and harmonious coexistent in society”.
Today, I am delighted to join the awarding ceremony of “Samdech Hun Sen National Scholarship – Outstanding Students” to 500 high school students nationwide. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate parents and families as well as grade-twelfth students who passed the exam for the 2006 – 2007 school year, and come to receive the scholarship today.
In addition, I would like to stress that this scholarship is significantly importance for students who cannot afford and have no resources to study. However, without talent, diligence, and determination in their study, they would not receive these full tuition fee scholarships and succeed in their study.
Indeed, scholarships are good only for the students who are outstanding, those that are willing to sacrifice everything for sake of study and are willing to contribute their knowledge to the society in the future. In this respect, I am convinced that the university as well as the partners that sponsoring this scholarship have the same purpose as mine. The purpose is to open opportunities for students from all backgrounds, particularly poor students from rural areas, to continue their study in tertiary level to develop themselves and the nation. Furthermore, we want our students to be a real intellectual who adhere a constant-learning attitude in order to preserve and improve their knowledge, know-how and morality for the beneficial utilization to the society and themselves.
At the same time, I would like to indicate that nowadays is the time of advanced technology and a knowledge-based economy era. In fact, in this globalize time, each country makes progresses or regresses and whether they able to actively and equally participate and take benefit from regional and global cooperation require quantity and quality of knowledge for youth in the next-generation, who are the pillars of the nation.
In this sense, higher education does not only strengthen the responsibilities, moralities and attitudes of our people to be a good citizens, but also provides them knowledge and skills in many fields that is necessary for absorbing more advanced knowledge or professional skills. Moreover, higher education is the basic for human development to achieve the comparative and absolute advantages in the era of knowledge-based economy.
Therefore, you have to study hard, expand your knowledge and effectively use this knowledge by turning them into know-how to respond to domestic and global labor market.
In addition, it should be noted that studying is largely a self determination, meaning that you are responsible for your study and your future. Parents, families or teachers provide only heat, like a hen that only provides heat to eggs to facilitate cracking out of a shell. However, being good or bad one is depending on the egg itself. Similar to you, to become a true intellectual, you have to study by yourself, for example, do the reading, homework or assignment, listening, taking note and analyzing provided knowledge in order to acquire knowledge from teachers. As a result, you can become a knowledgeable person and can apply those knowledge for your own, family and national interest.
In general, higher education institution always trains their student to have their own analytical thinking by allowing them to express opinions, defense their arguments and to do research, analysis and debate. For high school students, teachers are ready to transfer knowledge, in which everything is taught. In contrary, university students must do research by themselves after a subject has been lectured. Because of limited time in class, university students must be wise and make its own utmost efforts to collect informative knowledge as much as possible by studying at the library and do more readings.
I would like to finish my messages for the students who have just obtained “Samdech Hun Sen National Scholarship – Outstanding Students” award at the University of Cambodia. I hope that all beloved students will take my suggestions for consideration and transform them into strong motivation to successfully achieve expected targets and objectives of the university and scholarship sponsors.
Before closing, I would like to convey my appreciation to distinguish international and national guests, especially Dr. Haruhisa Handa and delegation for participating in this “Samdech Hun Sen National Scholarship – Outstanding Students”award ceremony this morning.
I would like to wish the distinguish international and national guests, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen with the five gems of Buddhist blessing, and to wish to all awarded students a good health, good luck and success in the studies.