Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Dear Compatriots,
Today, I have great honor and pleasure to join you all in the inauguration of Svay Rieng University and it is an opportunity for me to greet people who live in this province.
Taking the opportunity of this gathering, on behalf of the Royal Government and on my own behalf, I highly appreciate the close cooperation and efforts of all levels of authorities, officials, arm-forces, lecturers, teachers, parents, students and compatriots who make all kinds of achievements in Svay Rieng possible. As reported by H.E. Provincial Governor, the common objective of the Royal Government in implementing the policy is to reduce poverty in rural area.
Specifically, I would like to express admiration to H.E. General Hok Lundy and H.E. Hun Neng, former governor of Svay Rieng, who initiated and took lead to construct the premise of Svay Rieng University and successfully completed with a state-of-art style. I notice that the premise and facilities of Svay Reing University consist of 3 buildings and 4 dormitories, brick-fencing, gateway construction and concrete pathway, volleyball and basketball courts, garden and pond, and lighting pole and park. Moreover, each building is furnished and equipped with educational facilities with an approximate cost of 1 million US dollars. It is sure that without contribution from many benevolent people, it would not be possible to have such a university.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my profound thanks to H.E. General Hok Lundy and H.E. Hun Neng, former governor of Svay Rieng, as well as Excellencies, Lok Okhna, Ladies and Gentlemen and all benevolent people both inside and outside of the country; who have contributed to the development of Svay Rieng province, especially contributed to the construction of Svay Rieng University until the construction is proudly finished.
Without a doubt, Svay Rieng Univesity for today inauguration is another new achievement that we have attained in order to address the demand of students who are our next generation and to ensure that they have full rights to access to education and actual university for further enriching their knowledge after graduating from high school. In short, all these achievements is a real contribution to the cause of rehabilitation and development of educational sector and poverty reduction in rural areas.
Our memory tells us that Pol Pot regime completely abolished education sector. After the liberation day, 7 January 1979, we only survived from a first-ever genocidal regime in our history. At that time, we were all extremely poor with mouth-to-hand life style and exacerbated by fatigue and illness. Moreover, on one hand we have to rehabilitate and restore socio-economic infrastructure that was totally destroyed as well as suffering from embargo, while the other hand we need to strengthen arm forces to prevent the returning of genocidal regime. We must spend our life in a status that 50% is for building a new future and another half for diverting the scary result of the past regime that cannot be forgotten.
In 1980s, we paid attention to basic education by reconstructing schools, training teachers and supplying studied materials and facilities to timely respond to the demand of students. Gradually, education system and quality have been improved. Since then the education sector and building schools have been a priority of my ambitions in building a rapid-development society that citizen have high technical and science knowledge, civilization and good standard of living with happiness and dignity.
In the past decade, especially in the second term of the government, thousand of schools have been built since 1998, teachers and quality of education have been improved and paid attention in line with economic growth. At the same time, the Royal Government places more efforts to reform educational sector and become a strategic policy of the Royal Government aiming at establishing a society with connective fabrics, high knowledgeable and civilized citizens. These are important factors for improving productivity and competitiveness of human resources in Cambodia in globalization current.
Certainly, the Royal Government has recognized the importance of general education at primary and secondary levels for sustainable development. It is even more important to develop human resources at higher education in research, culture, science and technology. It is also important to strengthen national identity and appropriate pedagogy to make them highly qualified and become a role model in all activities in the country. For all circumstances, especially in the context of globalization, each country obviously can have prosperity or poverty, actively and equally participate and benefit from cooperation in the region and world will definitely rely on the quantity and quality of intelligence of our next generation youth, who will be the pillar and successor in the future.
Meanwhile, the high education will strengthen the people to have responsibility, better morality and behavior and become good citizen that have ambition in study. It also provides deep general knowledge and a lot of skill developments forming a base for higher training and becoming professionals. In addition, higher education is a basis for human resources development which is a determining factor of the comparative advantage and competitiveness of the country in the context of knowledge economy. In this sense, the Royal Government clear understands that improving quality of education in Cambodia is a key to accomplish the strategy to help students successfully acquire skill and profession for their life making.
To implement all these prioritized activities, the Royal Government needs to invest more in education through allocating appropriate national budget and encouraging more contributions from private sector and civil societies. Together with the increase of national budget for education, I acknowledge that to effectively implement the above prioritized activities, we have to further strengthen partnership in the development of education; because without additional help from our partners, we will not be able to achieve it easily and quickly. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to all development partners such as European Union, UNICEF, Japan, USA, France and other friendly countries for actively participating in restoring and rehabilitating education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels in Cambodia. I would also like to appeal to our partners to continue more support to help Cambodia to create capacity building and real ownership in building the education sector.
Last but not least, I would like once again to express my gratitude to venerable monks, teaches, compatriots, all national institutions, friendly countries, private sector, NGOs, generous people inside and outside of the country for actively participating in rehabilitating and developing education with fund and other facilities, especially, supporting Cambodian children and youth, that do not have access to study, to get education.
Finally, I wish Venerables, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Distinguished Guests, teachers and all students, who have participated in the occasion with five gems of Buddhist blessing.
To contribute to the development of intellectual resources and education to eradicate illiteracy and to enhance economic and social development in Cambodia in the long run, I have pleasure to officially announce the opening of Svay Rieng University from now on.