Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today I am honored and have a great pleasure to join you all in the degree presentation ceremony for 673 new graduates that have attained their master and bachelor degrees at our Royal University of Agriculture.
These proud achievements by all students today are the evidence of appropriate and timely contribution to response to the Royal Government agenda and the needs of Cambodia in developing human resources which is the key factor for socio-economic development, especially for poverty reduction and improving living standards of the population that is the main objective of the Royal Government. Moreover, these new graduates is another driving force, which will contribute to the implementation of the “Rectangular Strategy” of the Royal Government during this third mandate of the National Assembly. In these regards, on behalf of the Royal Government and my own self, I would like to express my joy and happiness for all these successes achieved by students who have worked very hard to overcome all of the challenges faced during their study, so that ultimately today they are presented with master and bachelor degrees of Agricultural Science.
Taking this great opportunity, let me express my congratulation and profound appreciation to all the management, professors, civil servants and staffs of the Royal University of Agriculture for their utmost efforts to contribute in the development of human resources by educating and paying attention in training and transferring valuable knowledge to students of next generation aiming at establishing a Cambodian society that have high educated people and culturally vibrant to contribute to a development of prosperous Cambodia that have strong capacity in the globalization framework.
On this occasion as well, I would like to cordially thank Japan, France, the United States of America, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and other partners countries, including national and international organizations and companies that have contributed in terms of financial and technical assistance to rehabilitate and develop the education sector in Cambodia to improve at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary. More special than this is the building up of technical equipments for the Royal University of Agriculture, the offering of training for teachers, civil servants and staffs abroad in order to develop the university’s curriculums to response to needs of the domestic and regional labor markets as well as strengthening the professional training that Cambodia is urgently required.
As we all know, just after the formulation of the new government in 2004, we prepared “Rectangular Strategy” which is the basis of our domestic and foreign policies. Through the implementation of the “Rectangular Strategy”, democracy has deeply rooted in Cambodia with respects of human rights and dignity. The economy has grown rapidly with strong increase in average per capita income. All economic indicators every year show firm and encouraging progress every year, even though it was affected by natural disasters and unfavorable economic and political conditions in the region and the world.
Based on those achievements, Cambodia confidently envisions in long term. Our strategy was prepared to ensure that the first decade of the new millennium will be the decade of peace, stability and growth as well as will be a decade of poverty reduction for social progress and prosperity for all levels of Cambodian. Our ambition is to build a society that firmly links all of social cells including cultural and highly-educated people. Our vision is to deepen the root of democracy in Cambodia’s society via strengthening rules of law and enforcing the principle of good governance, and enhancing the respect of human rights and dignity for all Cambodians. This vision is to bring back national proud and to make Cambodia a nation with full independence, freedom, integrity and a real, equal and respective partner in regional and world affairs.
Education section is a priority sector determined by government in its national policy because economic and social development cannot be done without human resource with enough intellectual capacity. Therefore, to develop human resources in Cambodia, the Royal Government has introduced open market policy in educational sector not only to encourage state-owned but also private-owned educational institutions.
As the result, we have seen a lot of educational institutions making progress each and every day in particular tertiary level. However, the quality and efficiency of training in tertiary level as well as secondary level for both public and private educational institutions are still limited. Moreover, the training only concentrates in Phnom Penh and a few major provincial cities.
So far, I have provided many recommendations on all kinds of technical training in particular agriculture to match our targets and the needs of rural people country wide.
Indeed, it is not acceptable that most of the educated people live in capital and major provincial cities. In reality, we have to focus on providing scholarship to students who are from rural areas or regions, poor students and female students to be able to study as many as possible to create favorable condition for the regions or areas with a lot of capable human resources to meet their local needs. On the other hand, such reform increases efficiency in human resources allocation at local level because the technicians will go back to their villages to work or create new jobs after finishing their studies and support the village where they were borne.
As for the implementation of above recommendations, I would like to express my pleasure and profound gratitude to Royal University of Agriculture through a report by H.E. CHAN SARET, chancellor, who mentioned that the Royal School of Agriculture has processed the enrollment of 142 students in previous academic year from remote areas and poor; among those 40 students are female. This is a policy that the Royal Government has actively enforced and kept its momentum. All of those works are great and important for our country. To achieve those works, it is required that Royal University of Agriculture as well as others educational institutions continue working all its best and utmost efforts both physically and mentally.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to provide some recommendations to the Royal University of Agriculture as well as to other higher education institutions as follows:
1. The Royal University of Agriculture should continue to pay more attention on human resource development, especially on improving technical skills of the public servants and students by focusing on both quality and quantity.
2. We must consider providing scholarships to students who are from provinces and remote areas, especially female students and the ones who are from poor families.
3. We must expand trainings to remote provinces, particularly to main agriculture areas to facilitate students with their convenient stay and transport concerns.
4. All higher education institutions must continue to strengthen their duty as universities, institutions or faculties that provide human resource training which respond well to the needs of labor market. These needs must be clearly analyzed to meet local and concrete situation.
5. We must pay more attention on strengthening institutional capacity building, mainly the capacity of our professors, curriculum preparation and educational staff. Their qualified capability will surely contribute to improve the capacity of our human resource in order to allow them to work and participate in a wider environment, both in the region and the world.
I strongly believe and hope that this policy will enhance human resources in Cambodia with quality and quantity for the sake of socio-economic development in remote areas and countrywide.
Today, all of you, 673 students have great honor to obtain master and bachelor degrees in agriculture and have become new experts in this area. You are also ready to enter your careers with all your capacity to contribute to the rehabilitation and development of our country.
In this sense, I urge you all, dear graduates, to use your knowledge successfully along with the exercise of your duty and career. At the same time, you all should be aware that today knowledge will be obsolete for tomorrow as science and technology rapidly evolve over time. For this reason, I urge all graduates to continue to consider and conduct research as part of your endless duty. I hope that all graduates will continue to further their studies to a higher level such as master or doctorate levels.
Moreover, for the graduates who have been offered a job, both in the public or private sector, I hope you will adopt good characteristics as good public servants or employees with discipline, hard-working attitude and virtue. For the graduates who are already public servants or employees, you should apply your knowledge gained from the university to improve your expertise in your own workplace.
Once again, I present my highest gratitude to France, the United States of America, Japan, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and other friendly countries as well as national and international organizations, especially to the management, professors and staffs of the Royal University of Agriculture who have actively contributed to the reconstruction and development of the education sector. In connection with the coming Khmer New Year, let me end by extending to you all, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the five gems of Buddhist wishes.