Once again, I am glad to be invited to the institute’s graduation ceremony. It is my fourth to preside over the graduation ceremony as such after my first on August 26, 2002 at the Chakdomuk theatre, the second time on July 27, 2003 at the National Institute for Education and the third time on May 03, 2005 also at the National Institute for Education (NIE). It is indeed an honor to be invited to join with professors and students at their ceremonious graduation and joys. Today we have 1987 graduates to be bestowed with diploma. I am sure that your achievements are indeed not only yours but also your families’.
I have mentioned many times that life in school will be complemented by life in workplace. Graduation does mean that you have reached the end of your study at all but that one part of your study has been completed and you have to continue your study in a new environment and stage. This will go on and on till the end of your life. Indeed HRDI’s achievement has been great since it started to realize infrastructural development while proving ability for sustainability as an institution. Starting from providing short courses, HRDI has now developed its ability and capacity to provide long-term training – take for instance two-year education bachelor and four-year education for master degree. It is also worth noting that we have more and more students taking their studies in the Institute. According to Mr. Seng Phally, the Institute’s director, there are in all 19856 students registered for courses in the Institute included 1987 students who have graduated today.
The Institute has enjoyed a fruitful support from HE Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng as well and I think that it has proven to be a financially well-managed institute as it has developed from using the start-up assistance into a sustainable way. HRDI should pay attention to the quality of education –our utmost target. I have a great pleasure and gratitude for the efforts of raising fund to build at the College of Boeung Trabek a library at the cost of about 260,000 US dollars. I think it will be a good place for study. Yesterday I went to Mehmot and I have found out that among the various schools of the primary and first-level secondary education that I helped established has now come to a completion. There is a need for establishing the second-level secondary education facility out there and I have decided to place eight second-level secondary education in response to those needs.
We have many graduates and we feel that the job market has not absorbed most of our graduates and this is a bell ringing for attention to be paid on quality of education so as to adapt our students’ educated background to the need of the markets. As is said by Director Seng Phally, I contributed a sum of one million Riels and a ton of rice on a monthly basis to the Institute for those students from poor families who resided in the Institute. The number of students in lodging has now increased from 50 to over 100 and judging on the fact that there is such an increasing need, I am happy to offer an extra one tonnage of rice and one million Riels – making it two tons of rice and two million Riels on a monthly basis. HRDI should claim the new contribution from my advisor – Oknha Sorn Sokna.
I think that you all want to hear something new and I have told our people some of them all along. Yesterday I also inform our people some development from Pursat and today I think I will make a statement from this graduation about what have happened in relation to Sports. We are informed early that Cambodia would host the South East Asian Games or SEA Games in 2011. However, 2011 would not been a good time as Cambodia will host the ASEAN Summit, the East Asian Summit, and there will follow in 2012 the Senate and the Communal elections, I have come to a serious consideration that we should reserve our limited resources for the summits and the elections, and it would not be too late for Cambodia to host the games in 2020 or 2030. I have sent a letter to the General Secretary of the SEA Game committee for removing Cambodia as a host country and I think there are countries that would like to take up this chance.
I have also ordered for the sum-up and review of the budget expenses reserved for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and about 1 billion Riels, according to the report from HE Im Sitthi, has already been spent on taking part in the recent SEA Games. I also do not have a proper report for the use of a sum nearly one million dollars that I have collected for the Olympic Committee. I asked many responsible persons. They claimed to have no knowledge of how it was being spent. I no longer raise fund for such an inappropriate spending and would in turn transfer to the Para-Olympic committee instead. I have asked the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to give me a report on the use of the Sports fund that was for taking part in the SEA Games and the Olympic Committee on the use of the fund I raised close to one million dollars. It was ridiculous that the number of sportsmen is fewer than the number of entourage, who all stay in five-star hotels. I have also requested for a review of the spending in comparison between spendings in taking part in the SEA Games in Vietnam and in Manila, the Philippines. I have to be responsible before those who have contributed their resources for the national Olympic activities through me.
In addition to this I wish that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports should be the one that supervise the sports issue and not the Olympic Committee. PAP fund is for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and not for the Olympic Committee (OC). I order that the fund should not be misused as well as mismanaged. I am making it clear here that PAP is the budget under the authority of the Ministry Education, Youth and Sports and not even a single coin should be spent by OC. In my 21 years as Prime Minister, especially in the time of peace negotiation abroad, my wife who accompanied me was doing all the work for me taking for instance the ironing of my clothes. In that way we have saved money and possess the ability to start developing the country. This is comparable to blood infusion – the one giving and the one taken could either be dead because of a failing process. Having seen that footballers do not make a satisfied success so far, I have no trust in the OC and therefore I appeal to all federations to make efforts to develop their own capabilities by themselves. When we need to send sportsmen for competition, the Prime Minister will approve the federation’s request.
One may say why this matter is said in public. The issue has the involvement of many people and ministries concerned, and furthermore, behind-closed-door discussion has been tried numerous times already. Take for instance issue of proposing appointments of so and so to so and so ministries and/or departments. Head to head discussion and warning has been done already, but once the request for A is withdrawn there comes B, C, D … etc. From now on, the procedure for recruiting staff for the Government institutions will be through exams taking and not by affiliating oneself to any political party at all. Students have equal chance and right to take exams to be recruited as Government functionaries. This is to be applied in the civil administration not in the armed forces.
Concerning the MEYS I have seen articles in newspapers on issues of registering contract teachers into the Government payroll. This is what I have said earlier about going through examination. I wish that inspection is taking the matter into consideration and carried out quickly. Officials of MEYS have to first pass an entrance exam for training, and after that they have to take final exam to get a permission to teach. We have to put an end to the quota system./.