Prime minister-in-waiting Hun Manet has announced that the new government will continue to prioritise improvements to the education sector, in order to build human resources that will become pillars of the nation, in line with socio-economic development.

Manet affirmed his commitment via a video clip which he posted to his social media channels on August 3. He stressed that while new infrastructure has been built across the country, the focus must now turn to human resource development, in order to make certain that the effects of the physical infrastructure remain long-lasting.

“The biggest achievement that we must make is the development of human resources with the virtue and morality to build up our country. If we have 1,000 people with good education, they will form 1,000 strong families, and they will be 1,000 pillars for the nation. We need pillars that are solid, capable, healthy and well educated,” he said.

He added that as the Kingdom has developed and the population has grown, it depends on human resources to compete with neighbouring nations and other countries around the world.

Manet explained that as Cambodia enjoys peace, it has the opportunity to boost its human resources to a higher level. The government will deal with this sector differently from when the country was at war, when the opportunity for access to education was low.

Cambodian Higher Education Association chairman Heng Vanda said he was optimistic about Manet’s prioritising of the education sector, and supported the plans of the future prime minister.

“In the new mandate – which will implement the Pentagon Strategy – the government will focus on the education sector. This is a suitable focus because we must beef up our competitive capacity through producing a highly qualified workforce. If we lack quality human resources, how can we compete with others in the free market economy?” he said.

Vanda noted that human resources in Cambodia do not lack behind other countries, but the kingdom must keep abreast of new developments around the world, with the STEM and digital sectors two that require particular attention.

Cambodia has set an 8-point reform in the education sector to meet the goals it has set for 2023 and 2050. The Cambodia People’s Party, which will lead the new government, has also slated the provision of vocational training to more than 2 million people in 2024.