Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen distinguished national and international guests,
Municipal/Provincial Education Delegate, and all the participants!
It is my honor and privilege to be here in the closing of the “2008-2009 Education, Youth and Sport Achievements and Direction Setting for 2009 – 2010” which is hosted by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS). This event indeed allows all of us, in particular, officials from local levels to exchange dialogue and experiences to explore development options for the education, youth and sport sector. Through this, we can reassess our past achievements, drawbacks, opportunities, and challenges to implement the new plans consistently with development partners and stakeholders to ensure equity in enrolment, quality improvement, efficiency and social development. In particular, some good lessons and experiences learned in the 2008 – 2009 academic year will enable us to achieve better results in the new year by addressing all shortcomings and deepening the strong points.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to thank Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen all level of MEYS officials, lecturers, students’ parents, students, local authorities for your commitment and contribution in the previous year to promote the education and human development sector, in spite of some challenges and shortcomings. The effort of the Ministry’s management and all levels officials and related ministries/institutions is not only a major catalyst for education development but also an assurance of capable human resources for fair competition in the era of globalization. Along with this, I would like to commend all development partners, development agencies, national and international organizations, and all stakeholders for the cooperation and support given to the both the formulation and implementation of plans to improve efficiency, quality and development. These efforts are a big contribution to the implementation of “the Rectangular Strategy” for growth, employment, equity and efficiency as well as socio-economic development and poverty reduction. In this sense, I would like to request the management and all levels of officials of the MEYS, related organizations, development partners, development agencies and the private sector to continue to cooperate closely in terms of materials, finance and techniques and work harder to realize Cambodia’s vision of education development especially in terms of rehabilitation and expansion of physical infrastructure and development of institutional and human capacity to respond timely to the requirements for socio-economic development.
The cooperation and support from all sources indicate we are moving in the right direction in implementing the principle of “Education for All, All for Education”, which is consistent with the Constitution and targets set out in the 2000 – 2015 World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal. In this spirit, the Royal Government will work harder to mobilize support and resources from development partners, development agencies, and other sources to accelerate the education sector and create employment for Cambodian people. Success in this sector, apart from a key resolution for all socio-economic issues, will make our society a place with harmony and respects but free from violence and discrimination.
The conclusion of the conference highlights that the education sector for the last 30 years, starting from the 24th September, 1979 to the 24th September, 2009 had made prideful progress. Although this sector has been experiencing some obstacles, however the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has been able to make remarkable numerous achievements that could answer demand from new socio-economic development. At the same time, the conference clearly highlights the remaining issues that are shortfalls which require us to double our efforts to improve and solve all those problems in the forthcoming years.
Obviously, according to proceeding report that is cited by Excellency Im Sithy, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, in overall I can understand the situation and the evolution of Cambodian education sector that we rehabilitated and developed from the scratch after the 7th January, 1979, the day when the nation was rescued from the genocidal regime. Apparently, for the last 30 years we had gained lessons and experiences in the education sector, and those still remain valuable until today, for which we started from “Those who know little teach those who know nothing”, “Those who know more teach those who know less”, “All must learn again and again, and learn regularly”, “state and people jointly develop”…etc… All achievements at the moment are definitely prideful to all of us.
To strengthen and extend the quality and efficiency in the education sector and as the foundation for direct setting for the next 2009-2010 school year I would like to provide a number of additional recommendations to be carried out in this sector as follows:
First. Continue implementing policies that ensure equitable enrollment at all levels of education among which, we must find the strategy to mobilize those children that reached school age and get all of them enrolled, at least make them complete 9-yeear basic education in conformity to the Constitution and toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. In parallel, we must strengthen the profession-oriented programs which provide youths with technical and vocational training opportunities to answer the demand of the labor market and to promote development of creative ideas as well as to increase new opportunities for poor students, especially for female students to study at all levels of education by increasing scholarships and building dormitory and school and dispatching teachers to the right target nationwide. Through this, increasing chance for private sector engagement and cooperation with development partners is necessary task to be kept implemented in order to promote education at all levels by making environment better and open for investment and implementation of the projects in this sector.
Second. Continue implementing policy that improve and raise the quality and efficiency of education of all levels through deepening reforms of institutions, curriculum and materials, documents and research activities by regularly carrying out perfection and training programs. Moreover, we must provoke and encourage commune/sangkat councils and municipal/provincial councils to engage with education movement aiming at linking education at schools with education in family, community and the whole society in order to build up a new generation of children and youth who are “good child, good student, good friends and good citizen” with high education, skill, and good moral to eradicate any vices in the society such as drug consumption, violence, gangster and sexual exploitation. Regarding these issues, I had already announced during the 99th Anniversary of International Woman Day 8th March 2010 under the theme that goes “Together we promote the potential of women and youth for development” by taking 2010 as the campaign year to uproot all vices barbarian acts which affect the dignity and honor of women and youth who are indispensible elements for national development and affect the tradition, culture and the profound civilization that are our national soul. Furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm that all ministry-institutions, all kinds of armed force and all levels of local authority must keep implementing effectively this campaign by getting rid-off all culture of intervention and following legal procedures.
Third. Continue implementing policy for capacity building and institutional management through making improvement and strengthening good governance according to the principle of decentralization and de-concentration. We must continue to increase the possibilities and means of human, physical and budgetary resources to support the work and continue implementing policy for building the capacity of civil servants to strengthen the monitoring and inspection system aiming at upgrading the quality and efficiency of education of all levels. Strictly implement the duty, role and the professional codes of ethic of education officers, teachers, and professors toward eradicating any individual who uses the education sector for his/her own interests and disgracing the national education sector. In this regard, the continuation of careful and firm implementation will truly contribute to the enhancement of honor, dignity and national prestige at the national, regional and global level.
Fourth. Continue implementing policy of partnership with the private sector and the national and international organizations, development partners and various donors in mobilizing to rebuild and develop education sector in all levels based on the principle: “State and People Work Together for Development”, in which this work is the lesson and experience since the last 30 years and will be further pursued.
Fifth. Continue promoting the competition on research and composition in all subjects. At the same time, the research articles, newspapers, magazines, homepages and other postures in public areas must be strictly controlled to make sure that they maintain the original form and literature standard and national linguistics as mentioned in the Khmer Dictionary written by Samdech Chuon Nath. Taking this opportunity, I would like the National Committee for Khmer Language to pay attention to defining the agreed framework in the reading, word creation, definition as well as the writing of words that has not been in agreement yet.
Sixth. Promote and boost intensively the development of body language (gesture) for the mute and deaf people, sign letters for the blind people to be in a clear cut form and standard and must be extensively disseminated to those people to be used for the interest of the daily living because those people legally have equal rights in receiving full education.
Seventh. Continue implementing the development policy of youth and sport through the promotion of Good 4 Movements: “good children, good students, good friends, and good citizen”, that must be ensured by the national policy for Cambodian youth and further promotion of the physical education and sport that is the component of education among the 5 education components: Intelligence Education, Moral Education, Physical Education, Labor Education and Beauty Education.
The promotion of all kinds of sports is to achieve the objective of maintaining health, intelligence and solidarity and through this work we have to continue promoting and actively implementing the issue of sport for all in the framework of popular sports, student sports and professional sports. Moreover, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports must continue to support and encourage students to participate in the Cambodian Red Cross Youth Movement (KAYARITH KAMPUCHEA) among students more intensively with the objective to inspire and enhance the youth to become humanitarian-hearted and be engaged in the art of sharing in order to eliminate the negative effects in the society.
In fact, these tasks will contribute ideally and spiritually to the conference as well as academic staff, teachers, lecturers and management in all levels in education sector to put into the objective, obligation and action plan to continue implementing the tasks more effectively, efficiently and productively to double the fruitful result and progress for our society.
Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the management of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and officials in all levels of the municipality and provinces including teachers, professors and academic staffs to put further effort in implementing their roles and functions with high attention and with the spirit of high responsibility by having to be well aware that the destiny of our socio-economic issue in the future will rest upon the process of the national education and measures taken by Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, who are the management of the academic staff, teachers, lecturers, working in this education sector. We must all bear in mind that the people who have not been fully educated can also be our partial fault and the weakness of the institutional capacity and human resources in education sector also partly results from the weakness of our measures. In this spirit, we have to always bear in mind that the people all over the country have provided strong hope to our pubic service delivery that will be able to upgrade the knowledge capacity and experiences to promote their livelihood, community development and socio-economy in the future. In this connection, our education system must be strong, active and responsive to all aspects in the present and future. At the same time, I would also like to appeal to the parents, families, local authorities, national and international organizations, development partners and agencies and all donors to continue the good cooperation and support the national education sector in order to rebuild and develop this sector to be more successful, progressive and prosperous.
Before ending, I would like to appeal once again to the Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen and the whole conference to participate actively and lively based on the plan we have put forward as well as trying your best to share information, knowledge and various experiences received from this conference for improving the implementation to accomplish new achievements in conformity with the education sector development strategy.
At this end, together with the Closing of 2008-2009 Stocktaking Conference of Education, Youth and Sport Achievements and Direction Setting for 2009 – 2010today, I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests, Academic Staff, Teachers, Lecturers and the whole Conference the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.