It is a great pleasure and honour for me to participate in this ceremony today with all of you, and I thank you for inviting me. Today I will help present the diplomas to the 8th batch of graduates of the program to train Secondary School Teachers, and the 5th batch of graduates from the Primary School Teacher of French Language training program in our Faculty of Pedagogy.
Dear graduates, on behalf of the RGC I congratulate all of you as you receive your diplomas today! I am extremely pleased to share this important day with you. I am sure you have all worked hard and studied very intensively to deserve your diplomas as new teachers! Your profession is the most respectable and plays a crucial role in our today society. Moreover, I highly appreciate the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for its excellent performance in implementing the reform program of education system and promoting HRD in order to build a highly educated and culturally vibrant Cambodian society.
In addition, I wish also to highly appreciate the Faculty of Pedagogy for excellent works in developing teachers so far. Also, I always recall, when coming here for any inaugural ceremony, that 20 years ago this place, where we are gathering now, was an empty place with neither teachers nor students and all school equipments and facilities were almost completely destroyed by Pol Pot genocide regime. Indeed, only after the Liberation Day, 7 January 1979, we started to rebuild our nation from scratch in all sectors, so that we have achieved a fully operated educational system to provide normal training to our students. Not all these achievements could be happen if there has not been the important role of the Faculty of Pedagogy in supplying teachers to all academic institutions in all the provinces and municipalities across the country.
I believe our graduates, who will receive their diplomas now, would actively contribute to fulfilling an important mission to realize our common goal of building and mobilizing more and more intellectual capital, – that is to strengthen Cambodia’s competitiveness within the fast changing globalized world.
Indeed, human resource development is a tremendous work, which consumes a great deal of time and financial resource. Thus, taking this opportunity I wish to thank all the donors such as the EU, UNICEF, Japan, France and other country for their active participation in restoring and building the educational system to be prospering at elementary, secondary and tertiary levels. In this occasion, the Royal Government highly appreciate Japan, good friend of Cambodia and Cambodian people, for its leading role in helping train human resource in Cambodia as well as in the region.
Currently, the Royal Government and people of Japan are providing assistance for reconstruction and building of our nation in many sectors, such as in economic and social areas, health and education so on and so forth. More specifically, a JICA project at the Faculty of Pedagogy has been providing training to teachers of science and mathematics to improve the quality of education. Thus, I urge the management of MOEYS to focus greater attention on training in science and mathematics, which are the foundation for the development of modern technology, and I hope that solidarity and cooperation between Cambodia and Japan will bring excellent results even more in the future.
The success and completion of your study this time happen as Cambodian people have voted in the general elections of 27 July 2003 to elect new members of the third mandate national assembly, according to their will and the principles of democracy, freedom and multi-party system. This is indeed a national proud that reflects the obligation and right of people in selecting their representatives that links to the objectives of defending, building and developing our nation for the future of our successors, our children and youth.
Also, this time is a coincidence with the event that Cambodia was recently honoured and entrusted to be another member of the WTO. The WTO Ministerial Conference has officially adopted and signed the protocol of admission on 12 September 2003 in Cancun, Mexico. The membership in the WTO reflects the right-track and wise leadership of the Royal Government in its efforts in implementing economic and structural reforms, modernizing legal system and building institutional capacity and human resource. Thus, it is indeed a great political and economic victory for the Royal Government of Cambodia in implementing its “Triangle Strategy”, and it is a “diamond” opportunity for Cambodia to promote her long term development, and that will serve as a firm foundation for the third mandate Royal Government to move forward.
This is also an opportunity for the Royal Government of Cambodia to implement its political agenda, thus ensuring enhanced implementation of its reform policy of education based on the existing achievements through the on-going plans, programs and priority actions. In this regard, the Royal Government of Cambodia continues to consider strengthening the scope and quality of education, particularly, at the university level and specialized skills training in order to effectively respond to national economic changes and needs.
The widening of the scope of education is to enhance multiple specializations in training, for students to have more choices in their study and for more relevant choices to meet national labour market’s demand for growing new jobs. At the same time, the strengthening of education quality is to ensure the provision of knowledge, know-how and professional capacity relevant to international standards, for students to respond to the requirements of labour market, including state institutions, social civil institutions and private companies. This is the main underlying factor for success, ensuring the continuity of each education institution. The simple reason is that if any education institution produces unqualified human resource, the institution will surely face the failure and end up with closing down. This is also because of the facts that graduates without job offers will bring bad reputation to their institution of origin and fewer students will choose not to enter the school. Therefore, once again let me take this very occasion to call on and remind all educational institutions, both public and private, to focus on steadily improving education quality, for the cause of national development and their own interest.
I think this is a good occasion for you all to finish your study, at the time, when Cambodia is undergoing the stages of active socio-economic changes and reforms. You all now have gained and are embodied by knowledge. You will soon leave your university and take up your relevant life-long jobs, profession and career. Thus, I would like to share my sincere advice that, after your graduation, you should use your knowledge in a good sense free from social aversion. You should adopt the three fundamental principles, which are:
1. Honesty: you should not be selfish and avoid unfair treatment and offence to others, and should put national interest above all.
2. Caring: you should admire your work, actively participate in exchange and dialogues to find solutions to constantly improve quality of your personal work and capacity and to take care of your colleagues.
3. Obedience: you should know what is right and what is wrong, be filial to your superiors and act accordingly to the laws, adopt good ethics and behaviour.
I am convinced that, through all the efforts in your study, you surely become the ones with national conscience and good moral, and a good member of your own family and a dignified person of the society. I also hope that you will carry out your duties in accordance with pedagogical principles, develop your personality and identity as a teacher, by bringing all your knowledge embodied and gained from university to practice your profession. You should become model teachers and should be “second to parents” for students, as a Khmer proverb says “Good Teachers, Good Students!”.
Once again, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to friendly countries, the national and international community, the educational management and personnel for their active contribution in the rehabilitation and development of education in Cambodia toward progress and noticeable changes.
Finally, I wish all of you, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen and all the new graduates, the five gems of Buddhist blessing! Dear Graduates, may I particularly wish you all good health and success in your future career and personal life! Thank you and good day.