In addition the inauguration of the Hun Sen Library in the college of Boeng Trabek, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen also presided over the graduation and diploma presentation for the Royal University of Laws and Economics Science.
Diplomas for Graduates of Laws and Economics
I would like to take this opportune moment to say a few words to the 1,893 graduates from the Royal University of Laws and Economics Science (RULES). It is indeed my pleasure to see that we have more of our students crossing their lines to become the country’s human resources. I would hail this as efforts made resolutely by their parents and their professors, as well as their personal ones. I would take this moment to thank the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, rectors and all in the leadership, professors for keeping the hard works until such progress can be achieved.
Today we celebrate the graduation for students in the college of Boeng Trabek because we need to combine it with another event that is also important – the inauguration of a new library. It is indeed appropriate to recall about the national education policy that if we were to depend only on the national means for education, it would not be possible to achieve so much. We have opted for private means for providing education service. I have initiated this and if anyone of you have time to do some research, I would advise you to read my thesis “Cambodia’s 10 Years March” that was printed in 1988 in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the January-7 victory over the Pol Pot’s regime.
The efforts in those days had allowed us to do that much but as of now we have the ability to do much more both in the sense of state and private resources for education. In my trip to Australia, I had come to the knowledge that Australia provides partial scholarship or permission for partial down payment for their study and the rest will be paid upon pursuing career. Therefore, the policy for private education system is indeed common for all, not only in Cambodia.
Go for Higher Education and Be Thankful
I would urge those who have finished their schooling today here and everywhere to go for higher education – continuing education, so to speak. Knowledge needs to be sharpened regularly as we would do to a knife. We have to work and study together and this has to be a continuing pattern.
I would also urge you all to pay your tribute to your parents and/or your superintendents. First they may think of doing good things and behaving positive for the society. Some parents do not need their children to give wealth in return. You should all try to be children abiding by and governed by the good morale.
Promoting Secondary to Tertiary Teachers
There was a proposal that I have approved yesterday about promoting teachers in the junior level secondary education to the senior level secondary education. They have made their studies and they could not take exams because there is a prohibition that those over 45 could not take them. I have decided yesterday to let the 25 teachers to get the promotion, though I know it is an awkward situation. I would suggest, after having to make that kind of decision, that we should raise the ceiling for taking exams to 60 years of age otherwise we could not encourage the our teachers to take up studies.
From Ghost to Growth City
Indeed HE Kep Chuk Tema, the Mayor of the Phnom Penh city, reminds us all about Phnom Penh as the ghost city. We have made great efforts in 1979 and 1980 so as to reopen schools. Efforts had been mobilized to gather all to go to schools both students and teachers. The situation has changed now that we have gone from 42,000 students then to 250,000 students now. The birthrate in Cambodia started from 3.2% and is now staying at 1.8%. Of course the rate has gone down in the urban areas but it is still higher in rural.
A Big Library
As is reported by HE Kep Chuk Tema, the Mayor of Phnom Penh, we have collaborated our efforts – starting with Mr. In Virak Jiet and Seng Phally, who visited me and locations of libraries in town. We have a number of libraries in schools already but we also see that there is a piece of land herein the college of Boeng Trabek can be made available for the library construction, we have decided that a library here was to be constructed. The total cost as is said by HE Kep was over one million US dollars – it is a high-standard library with all its audio-video equipments and facilities for internet access.
It is indeed a small amount of money in comparison with the need for knowledge and research of our students and people. I would be thankful if we could acquire some of the Widyono’s publications, especially the one titled “Dancing in Shadow” to add up into the collection here. Hun Sen Strongman of Cambodia is another title that was well sold before in Bangkok. We have obtained the rights to translate “Dancing in Shadow” from English to Khmer already and this should also be another title of interest for the library as well.
As we have a good library here we should also ponder where else this kind of achievement could be placed. I am thinking perhaps we should go for the northern side of the city of Phnom Penh. I am glad that the library has space to allow educational accreditation committee to meet as a community. I am also longing to see the library that is going to be built and provided with the World Bank assistance. It is indeed going to cost more than this one and has been tipped to be designed by foreign architects. I just ask a question if Cambodian architects are not good enough to do that. This country once built Angkor Wat in the past, remember.
Internet Facilities and Fees, Books
I wish to thank Ms Sok Chenda, President of the Anana Computer for providing internet service and fees for a period of five years and more as along as the company continues to operate business. We also have books donated by the Ly Company. I would urge foreign friends to supply books to this library. I would specifically ask for Deng’s selected works from Madame the Ambassador of the PRC. HE Kep and Madame, in response to my request has decided to offer overtime fees for librarians who work in the weekend. He will take charge of this until he no longer is the Mayor of Phnom Penh./.