Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of International Fund for Art and Culture of Japan and Chancellor of University of Cambodia,
Beloved Scholarship holders!
Today, I am very pleased to attend the awarding ceremony of the “Samdech Hun Sen – Haruhisa Handa National Scholarships Award 2008 Ceremony” as well as to welcome all parents and guardians of students who are presence here. At the same time, I would like to congratulate those students who have recently passed their high school exams nation-wide, and those students who are here today receiving double lucks, including a high school certificate and a scholarship.
I would like to extend my gratitude to the Board of Management of the University of Cambodia for making effort in seeking the financial support for poor students, who are unable to afford their tuition fees to continue their study at the tertiary level as well as to improve the quality of higher education and human resource development aiming at helping the Royal Government in developing and rehabilitating the nation for a prosperous future. Through this I am strongly convinced that, this kind of mechanism will inspire students to study hard to repay to the priceless grant in time of urgent need. On the other hand, the sustainability of such grant will encourage students studying at high schools, to study hard and absorb knowledge, to be qualified for future scholarships that are available.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Head of World Mate Organization, Founder of International Fund for Art and Culture of Tokyo, Japan, Chancellor of University of Cambodia, for providing constant support for higher education sector in Cambodia, especially for providing full tuition fees weaving for 500 students who have passed high school exam with good grade during 2007-2008 school year in 2008, in addition to scholarships provided for 500 students in 2007. On behalf of the Royal Government and students, I would like to record this precious and great contribution as an unforgettable history.
Education is valuable because it transforms people to be the educated person with knowledge and professional ethics for which our nation and people are demanding for. In this sense, intellectuals play key roles to promote a nation base on capacity, knowledge, talent and development ideas. Obviously, the bigger the number of intellectual the faster the social development. In the 21st century, IT era, the roles of intellectuals are becoming even more important and are the determinants factors for enhancing economic potential and national development. These themes reinforce the importance of education to turn our human resource into “Good students, good intellectuals and good citizens” in the future in accordance with the basic principle of education which aimed to promote the knowledge, know-how, professional ethics and social harmonization.
At the same time, education and human resource development are very important for a nation, because they promote not only economic development, but also the national dignity through utilizing those knowledge, morality, wisdom, conscience and integrity, all of which are the culture which lead a society into development with harmonization and peace. Hence, a nation with better developed education sector will make citizens and institutions more competent and brings about rapid development.
In this sense, the RGC of the 4th Legislature of the National Assembly has introduced the Phase-2 Rectangular Strategy which regards capacity building and human resource development as the prioritized sectors in all stages of National Development Plan. Along with this, the Royal Government always focuses on economic growth, job creation, enhancement of social equity, and strengthening of efficiency in public work to realize the vision of the Rectangular Strategy i.e. “Growth, Employment, Equity, and Efficiency”. In short, human resource development during this stage corresponds correctly to the continuation of socio-economic development which is deemed to be the primary factor in poverty reduction and the enhancement of the people’s living standard.
In particular, the current number of public and private higher education institutions has expanded significantly across the country, which is a pride for our nation as well as for those related parties, especially development partners who have focused on the education sector. However, at the same time, the Royal Government will continue to monitor this sector attentively and comprehensively in order to strike the balance between quality and quantity. Through this, I would like to take this opportunity to request both public and private higher education institutions to cooperate closely to strengthen the education quality, improve teaching facilities, expand education and training program and study curriculum with high technical and scientific standard to ensure that our higher education programs meet the quality standard in the region and other civilized nations. In this context, I believe that each of our higher education institution will become an effective centre to compete in the production of intellectual resources to respond to domestic, regional and global labor demand.
Today, I would like to draw my attention once again to the provision of scholarship as well as the exchange of educational and researching experience and to provide some advice to scholarship holders in order to boost your pursuit for success at higher education level. The following points will strike a chord and direct you to attain your long-term vision:
1. We are now in the era of knowledge, competition, deepening of education, IT, knowledge-based economy, which is so-called the era of globalization. In this sense, if you are not highly knowledgeable or well educated, you cannot live with prosperity. Therefore, higher education is vital for deepening your knowledge, in terms of general knowledge, technological knowledge, morality, IT, and foreign languages. Through this, you should study on your own, absorb as much knowledge as possible in order to make a good living and contribute more to the national development.
2. Higher education differs from education at high school level. Indeed, high school education requires you to read and memorize your lessons, while the teachers are always after you regardless of your intention to study, that is to say teachers always try to feed you with knowledge. However, higher education is different. Teachers are no longer there to follow you and feed you with knowledge but each individual student must do his/her best to study on his/her own. In general, teachers will only give instructions and provide comments for your study by enabling you to comprehend, analyze, research, express and compose to prepare you for your jobs and self-employment, hence to enable you to stand on your own feet.
3. Higher education requires a number of preparations and criteria as follows:
a. Good time management. Without it, your education would not have sufficient quality and qualification. Each student must know how to manage your time appropriately according to the daily, weekly, semi-annual and annual education programs.
b. Good concentration. That is to avoid imaginativeness. Carelessness is the source of failure in higher education level.
c. Appropriate study plan and activities. You must also maintain good attendance.
d. Raise questions and courageously debate issues with teachers and classmates.
e. Continuous reading of research documents, books and materials which are the sources of additional knowledge apart from school.
f. The University students, who are the future intellectual capitals, are required to evaluate their academic results, reflecting their academic quality. Generally, the assessment has been done by professors, through exams in all subjects as well as through the overall university evaluation. However, the self evaluation, knowing yourselves and recognizing your knowledge are necessary to reduce the flaws and promote the merits of your study. This point is of great significance, because it will improve any flaw and redirect any inactivity toward realizing your set objectives.
4. How should students select their field of specialization?. One of the indecisiveness of university students is the selection of their specialization. The selection could be done for any subjects you like from the innate ability. Yet, in this case if you happen to be better in any subject you should choose that subject as your area of expertise. The wrong selection of the specialization will lower the quality and efficiency of your education. In this sense, the university students should be more careful in selecting their specialization. Please don’t select any subjects by chance or imagination or by following the others’ ideas. Each of you should make your own decision in selecting the specialization, which will be your future profession. You should not listen to the others in deciding your own future. Along with the subject selection you have to put in the right effort because it is the most significant and effective factor for success.
5. You have to be responsible for your education as it is your future. The academic responsibility does not only rest on the lecturers, parents or sponsors, but it is actually your own burden. Indeed, parents, lecturers or sponsors can only provide mental encouragement. Therefore, in order to become real intellectuals you have to put effort into self-studying, reading more books and research documents and doing homework as assigned by the teachers, trying to take notes and think critically as well as turning the lecturers’ knowledge into yours by seriously absorbing those knowledge so that you will become the real intellectuals who are be able to put those knowledge into practice to serve your family livelihood and the society. You have to bear in mind that “Money comes with real knowledge”, meaning that it is only you who can determine your destiny.
6. If you are weak or fall behind the others or you have failed the exam you have to find new strategies in order to timely solve those problems. Those strategies would include consulting the lecturers, academic councilors or the school dean by asking for their suggestions and experiences and other research methods, which will make your study more fruitful and productive. You have to seek advice from lecturers if you are unclear about certain points. Meeting directly with the professors who teach those subjects is a necessity.
7. The study will be more successful with strong motivation and high determination. The important thing in education is the commitment or encouragement for research. Without motivation there will be no determination and fruitful results. The academic motivation comes from your intrinsic motivation, diligent working and your high commitment for study and research.
On the other hand, the honesty toward education is also the enforcing factor which makes your study successful and of high quality. Therefore, you have to try your best not to cheat your way through. Learning by copying from the others will make your future gloomy forever. The cheating students degrade themselves. Thus, your education must depend on you so that it will be of good quality and successful.
In sum, the points which have been raised so far are nothing new to those who have tried to study hard already, but they are, somehow, the remainder and food for thoughts for the scholarship holders of “Samdech Hun Sen – Haruhisa Handa National Scholarships Award 2008” here as well as for students at other higher education institutions.
In this sense, I hope that all students will put these advices into consideration and transform them into a strong motivating factor to promote successful study, according to the expectation of the University of Cambodia and donors. The success of your study is the fruit and strong hope of the donors. With these advices and suggestions I would like to wish the scholarship holders today a good health, intelligence and bright success in your academic mission.
Before ending, I would like to once again express my profound appreciation to the national and international guests, especially Dr. Haruhisa Handa and all the delegates who participate in the awarding ceremony of the “Samdech Hun Sen – Haruhisa Handa National Scholarships Award 2008” today.
Finally, I would like to wish the national and international guests, ladies and gentlemen, sponsors and parents as well as the management of the University of Cambodia the 4 gems of Buddhist Blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health, and Strength./.