Vong Soth, second vice-president of the National Assembly (NA), urged authorities at all levels, Buddhists as well as donors from both home and abroad to support the development of education and school infrastructure. 

He explained that such concerted efforts are crucial to improving the Kingdom’s human resources, and will make an important contribution to the nation’s socio-economic development.

The remarks came as he presided over a January 2 inauguration ceremony for nine Buddha statues at Samaky Sokah Ram Pagoda in Tbong Khmum province. Also known as Chrak Rumdeng, the pagoda is located in Chrak Rumdeng village in Ponhea Kraek district’s Trapeang Phlong commune.

The former minister of social affairs and youth rehabilitation explained that in the past, Buddhism played a key role in developing human resources, with pagodas serving as learning ground. In modern-day Cambodia, schools have assumed this role, with the government having built more and more educational establishments across the country.

“We must pay even closer attention to education, and should contribute as much as we can to ensure the sector meets the human resource needs of our society,” he said.

“With modern-day Cambodia at peace, we are enjoying rapid development and becoming more renowned on the international stage,” he added.

Kong Samneang, head of the Federation of Education Services in Cambodia, supported Soth’s remarks, noting that in order for the education sector to grow further, schools need to be built in every corner of the Kingdom, including remote rural areas.

To that end, he said the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is doing so step by step according to its plan.

Samneang was concerned that while many rural schools have been built, they are yet to be appropriately equipped. He said some schools have computers but no internet or reliable electricity, while others lack qualified staff. He suggested that these issues be taken seriously.

“If we have schools, but they lack equipment or supporting infrastructure, the education sector will not grow as desired. Modern schools should be built in rural areas. It is true that it will cost money, but we need to consider the cost of not developing our human resources,” he said.