-Your Venerable Monks,
-Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests,
-Professors, Lecturers, Staffs and Students,
Today, I have a great pleasure to be with Your Venerable Monks, Your Excellencies, Professors, Lectures, Civil servants, Ladies, Gentlemen and Students in the official inauguration of the Lecture Hall and Conferring Master, Bachelor and Diploma degrees to students who graduated from the Royal University of Phnom Penh(RUPP) for the academic year 2005-2006.
On behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to warmly congratulate the graduates who have strived very hard in their studies until achieving this proud success and are about to receive their degrees to certify their qualifications and capacities.
This prideful achievement that you all obtained today is another evidence for the rightly and timely response to the agenda of the Royal Government and the needs of our country in human resources development, which is the key for socio-economic development and particularly contribute to the poverty reduction and foster people livelihood.
According to the reports of the Rector of University and the Senior Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, a moment ago, it clearly highlighted that both the Ministry and the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) have attained a lot of achievements in the framework of building intellectual capital and built the basic infrastructure and facilities to support the human resources development in Cambodia. For tertiary education, we can say that RUPP is a biggest and oldest educational institution which has contributed the most to the human resources development in Cambodia. For instance, only for the academic year of 2005-2006, we have 1695 graduated students, of which 433 are female. This is just one achievement among many others that RUPP and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS) have attained in the field of human resources development in order to respond to the agenda of the Royal Government and need of Cambodia to increase capable and qualified human resources for carrying out development effort toward reducing the poverty of our people.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to honestly compliment those achievements made by RUPP as well as MOEYS and also the effort of students and professors, lecturers and staffs of RUPP, who have exerted their utmost efforts to attain these achievements with satisfied quality that we have witnessed today. These achievements and outcomes cannot be separated from the supports of our development partners during the working processes. This clearly underlines that international cooperation is a very important key for the development of tertiary education in Cambodia and for the socio-economic development as a whole.
The Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency serves as the roadmap to develop and implement political platform of the Government in the third legislative of the National Assembly. Political stability, peace and social security are the prerequisite factors. Poverty reduction coupled with the improvement of the Good Governance is the straightforward direction of the Royal Government in the agenda of its clear defined vision of the development program. In this regard, the Qualified and Healthy Human Resource Development is the vital and emergent task for Cambodia today.
In this spirit, the Royal Government has made a lot of investment in the Education, Health and Rural Development. Schools, hospitals, healthcare centers and telecommunication networks and other physical infrastructure have been constructed and fully equipped with sufficient supplies through out the whole country in order to support the daily routines. Meanwhile, the Royal Government is strongly committed in the Education System and National Educational Administration Reform by allowing the private sector and civil society to participate in the human development in Cambodia. The Royal Government has considered that the contribution of the private sector, particularly in the management and the establishment of the information network, the database server center, the transfer of knowledge on modern technologies and the promotion of the recycling energy development are very crucial for the training, development and human resource management to satisfy the demand of socio-economic development in Cambodia. On the one hand, in the tertiary education framework, I myself as well as other leaders of the Royal Government have encouraged the investment on the construction of basic facilities such as libraries with educational textbooks, research documents and many other stationary supplies to serve the educational and research needs of the students and the public. For instance, in this Royal University of Phnom Penh we have a pretty large library which serves the need of many students in this university as well as those students from other universities and faculties. Moreover, the lecture hall which we are going to inaugurate shortly, is another new outcome which can be used for multi-purposes both in the educational framework and for other various scientific and social forums such as seminars and conferences.
At the same time, the Royal Government clearly understood that the encouragement in technology transfer and the linking of agriculture sector to other sectors such as the industrial sector, is a key to generate new and various employments for our people other than rice-farming. With this regard, the technology transfer does not only mean the shipping of those equipments into Cambodia by the means of trade or grant, but it is a mechanism which refers to the capacity of the local citizens regarding the understanding of product development and the usage of technologies, which should also be promoted.
These above objectives can be achieved through having foreign direct investment, joint-venture between the local and foreign investors, licensing for the use of technology, co-operative programs between universities, exchange programs among students, educational staffs and professors, etc. In other word, the technology transfer is all about everything which facilitates the absorption or the dissemination of new technologies in some specific countries.
Base on the above view, I would like to recommend the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports as well as the Royal University of Phnom Penh and all other universities and faculties to pay more attention on the education of science and technologies and scientific researches, and select those modern educational programs for the young generation so that they can become producers and to be truly independent in science and technology fields in order to participate in the development of the country in the future.
The economic growth can be made possible unless we have established a real national economic system, that means the change in the economic structure by matching the modernization of technology with the production factors. The transformation from labor-intensive economy to the knowledge and technology based economy is the best example of the above process.
In this sense, I understand that the human development policy is the most important driving force for positive changes toward the development of this new national economic development system. Meanwhile, I strongly believe that the value of education always remains the potential factor or mean to develop individuality and nation. In this regard, I would like to request all the universities and faculties to try and change their images and the coverage of their training programs to become a large scale university which is similar to the programs of those universities in the region.
Furthermore, our education sector must mainly consider the quality, otherwise every of our effort and spending will be meaningless and useless because it would not only result in the lost of the benefits to students, but it could also damage our national capacity in the international and global arena. We can not have an international level of living standard and economy without having appropriate labor force, knowledge, and talent.
At the same time, I would like to request the university to also direct its effort into rural development by conducting research studies, preparing thesis and dissertation to address main complicated issues at the rural areas, especially, on resource management, developing new philosophies and new research methodologies necessary for creating a systematic view of inserting the socio-cultural and economic factors into the rural system environmental analysis and the utilization by different interest groups. I reckon that, this sort of action is an initiative which enables the foundation of our tertiary education to participate in rural development, by focusing on economic, social and cultural sectors and poverty reduction. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and myself, I would like to take this opportunity to call for the national and international organizations, NGOs, development partners and the private sector to continue providing the spiritual, technical and physical supports and to try and create a favorable condition for our researchers in achieving fruitful success in this process.
In this era of knowledge, education determines the future of each and every nation in the world. It also reflects the characteristics of the people living in that country and determines the productivity of that nation in addressing the challenges and responding to the new demand imposed by the global market and the increasing competition from around the world. Moreover, the whole world has always been changing according to the improvement in technologies and the increasing stock piles of information. Hence, in order to catch up with this fast moving global trend and to prevent the loss of professions in the future, students must strongly hold the idea and belief that learning is a life time phenomenon which occurs in all scenarios. When you get yourselves into the society or the labor market, you must always keep the spirit that, by completing your study today, you only passed an experimental stage of a long-life journey that you must continue to reach its destination. I strongly believe that, by having successfully finished the bachelor degree today, you will have a solid foundation to pursue another level of research and study as well as the ability to squeeze yourselves into the labor market in the near future.
I strongly believe that all of the 1695 students who are going to receive their certificates, diplomas, bachelor degrees, and master degrees in a short moment will become citizens with real knowledge to serve our society rather than relying on the society and to prepare yourselves as intellectuals with high conscience and morality in order to develop a firm and appropriate stance for Cambodia in the region and the world in the near future. You all must remember that, any intellectual who lack the conscience, good morality and virtue is not a good citizen, which fits perfectly to an old Khmer saying that saidknowledge and morality are the two currents and merits which most people desired.
Once again, I would like to sincerely appreciate the neighboring countries, development partners, national and international organizations for their active and persistent participation with the Royal government of Cambodia in the development and rehabilitation of the education sector in Cambodia to noticeably made improvement and changed its image as seen today. I would also like to once again thank the university rectors and deputy rectors, government officials, students, lecturers, ladies and gentlemen who have devoted their utmost efforts, intelligence, and spirit in teaching, guiding and educating the young generation of Khmer to become intellectuals which could contribute to the national socio-economic development toward prosperity and progress in the future.
In the end, I would like to whish Your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, and all the students with Five Gems of Buddhist Blessings. May I know, announce the official opening of the Lecture Hall of the Royal University of Phnom Penh from now on.