Distinguished National and International Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Dear Students,
I and my wife today are greatly delighted to participate in this degree presentation ceremony for 1506 graduates of the end of academic year 2005 at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, myself and my wife, I would like to express my sincere compliment for the achievement made by the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) as well as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and all hard works made by students and the determination of professors at Royal University of Phnom Penh in educating and training those students to successfully achieve this fruitful outcome with quality. These achievements can not be made possible without the profound contribution made by development partners who have supported the successful training process. Taking this opportunity, I would like to also thank all development partners who have cooperated with one another to attain this proud outcome so far and to continue implementing the Education Sector Strategic Planning for 2004-2008 for a constant change and new improvements by mainly focusing on both the quantity and quality of our education. Besides, I would like to express admiration and appreciation to the management, officials and staffs at the Royal University of Phnom Penh who have worked hard to fulfill their duties with continuous success.
I and my wife are also proud with the achievement made by 1506 students today because this achievement does not only belong to you but the whole country since it contributes to the increase in the numbers and human resource quality which represents an important factor for the development of the country and being one of the four main angles of the “Rectangular Strategy” of the Royal Government which focused on “enhancing economic growth”, “employment generation for Cambodian workers”, “promoting social equity” as well as “strengthening effectiveness of the public sector”. Without any doubt that your achievement today will contribute more to successful implementation of the “Rectangular Strategy” of the Royal Government.
International experiences show that “development starts and ends with human”. In this regards, I have often mentioned that“with good education there will be good human resource for the development of the country”, this requires us to make the reform in upgrading the quality of education by ensuring appropriate balance with the expansion of education quantity. In fact, in order to raise the quality of education, it requires necessary conditions in teaching and learning activities, and to expand the education quantity requires more schools and teachers because the number of children reaching the school age is increasing year by year while the market and society always demand high quality.
In the new context of globalization that Cambodia has integrated into ASEAN community and a member of the WTO, human resource development has gone through more intense competition based on quality, hence ensuring high education’s quality, valuable degrees and qualified persons recognized by domestic, regional and international labor markets. It is the same as manufacturing and production that need to ensure high quality in order to find the market.
In this regards, the Royal Government has tried very hard in the building of human resource and physical infrastructure and determined in making the public financial system reform, armed force demobilization, higher revenue collection to spend on rural development, agriculture and health through the implementation of liberalization policy, which uses the private sector as economic development partner.
In the present time, the cultivation land in Cambodia is still insufficient for 85% of the farmers to work in the agriculture in order to improve their living standard; therefore, enhancing technology transfer is the key to create new and different employments for our people besides farming. In this context, technology transfer does not only mean to transfer technical equipments and facilities into Cambodia through the form of buying and selling or donation but it represents a mechanism, which means to increase the local capacity on the knowledge of management, promoting the use of technology and increasing working capability. In this sense, we must have some kind of joint productions and businesses, issuance of technology patents, joint researches, cooperation programs between universities, exchange and training of staff and students as well as infrastructure and services. In other word, technology transfer is everything to do with facilitating the acquisition of the pattern and disseminating of new technology in a country. Starting with this issue, I would like to recommend the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth, to put more efforts on science and technology education for youths and our young generation in order for them to become outstanding producers.
The growth of our economy can not be made possible unless we try to establish our own national economic system, hence, the change in infrastructure of the economic sector by accelerating the modernization of technological production, from labor intensive economy towards capital intensive economy and labor intelligence. The service sector must also be expanded together with the establishment of a systematic flow of the national economy which could serve and support one another. Indeed, infrastructural change and the creation of this new system of national economy require our tertiary education to reinstate itself that it will be able to support and respond to the change in the economy as expected. At the same time, human resource development policy and the promotion of local democracy are the most crucial enforcing elements for a positive change toward the establishment of this new national economic system.
I still strongly belief that “the value of education is always a crucial element for individual and national development”.Therefore, stepping toward globalization of international economy will require our tertiary education to play the key role for the development of education with quality and efficiency, and broadening the opportunity for international cooperation which is the synergy of mutual benefit and equity. Prominently, our National Universities must try to change the image regarding the coverage of its training programs in order to become a wider-scale type of university which is similar to the international one, by having the combined and new study programs that could reflect the ability that capacity is the production center and the import-export national identity and to ensure quality training.
Our education must consider quality, otherwise all our strength and efforts are meaningless because we ruin not only our students’ benefits but also the national capacity to try and live in a world that is not always there to provide us with good living standard. Indeed, we cannot maintain the living standard and make the national economy competitive regionally and globally if we do not have professional human resources who have knowledge and know-how with high ability. Meanwhile, I would like the university to redirect itself towards rural development through research, thesis or report of the students to solve significant and complicated problems in rural areas, particularly on resource management, creating new systematic views, necessary research methodology for systematic vision and the inclusion of socio-cultural factor and socio- economic factor in rural environmental system analysis. This represents the initiative which enables our tertiary education institutions to contribute to the rural development which is an important sector of the economy, society, culture and poverty reduction.
In the era of knowledge, education will determine each nation’s future. It also reflects the quality of citizens living in that country and determines that nation’s capacity in response to challenges and new demands raised by the increase in global market competition and rapid growth. In addition, the whole world changes constantly according to technological growth and increasing huge stock of information. To keep track with this universal change and to prevent career downsizing in the up-coming day, students should always hold the obligation to “study, study and always study” in every aspect when entering the society or labor market despite the bachelor degrees that you have all received today. After finishing their studies, most of our students usually search or wait for careers that fit their skills. Social future is rapidly changing so we can not always find the right jobs for our skills. Moreover, self-employment creation in the society is a good and most successful thing to do in our lives because we are able to manage and to be responsible for our destinies and only those who always keep learning can achieve this faith. Starting a business or self-employment does not only help yourself personally, but also contributes to national development. This is the creation of a new branch for socio-economic and creates more employments for others.
I believe that the 1506 students here who are about to receive their degrees today will become the real force of knowledge to serve our society and prepare themselves to become intellectuals with high conscience and good moral in order to contribute to the development of Cambodia to gain a proper stance among others in the region and the world in the near future.
Finally, I wish his Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen and lecturers with five gems of Buddhist Blessings. For those successful students, I wish you good luck, happiness and success in the future.