Official: Cambodia Needs More Education

Effective free-market strategies for developing nations were the topic of a two-day international workshop earlier this week, hosted by Cambodia’s Economics and Finance Institute and the Korea Development Institute, an official with the Cambodian government agency said on Tuesday.

Representatives of seven Asian governments—North and South Korea, Burma, China, Laos, Mongolia and Vietnam—joined the talks Monday and Tuesday, sharing their experiences in economic development, said the Cambodian institute’s director, Hean Sahib.

Cambodia, he noted, is already ahead in terms of planning, but human resources are still sorely lacking. “My point of view is, I am very impressed with the government’s economic planning…but the point will be whether Cambo­dia can put it into practice or not,” he said.

Given Cambodia’s weak education system, he said, the government should encourage and fund as many students as possible to seek scholarships in developed countries.

“I think the government should spend the money to finance student scholarships for at least 20 people for every skill every year,” he said. “This is for the future of Cambodia.”

Meanwhile, most universities in Cambodia are profit-oriented, with little concern for their students, he said. He urged the formation of a government accreditation board to establish standards for higher education.

“I still can’t find a good university for my nephew,” Hean Sahib said.

The Economics and Finance Institute is an arm of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The Korean Development Institute is an agency of the South Korean government.

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