Remarks by Veena Reddy, Acting Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, Launch for Capacity Building Partnership Fund, Phase III

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Remarks by Veena Reddy, Acting Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, Launch for Capacity Building Partnership Fund, Phase III

(as prepared for delivery)

  • Your Excellency Dr. Nath Bunroeun, Secretary of State, Ministry of  Education, Youth and Sport
  • Your Excellency  George Edgar, Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia
  • Your Excellency  Maria Sagren, Ambassador of Sweden to Cambodia
  • Ms. Natascha Paddison, Acting Country Acting UNICEF Representative
  • Distinguished guests

Good morning,

It is a pleasure to be here today to officially launch the Capacity Development Partnership Fund, Phase III. This program signifies a unified partnership between like-minded development partners and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

I am delighted that USAID is a part of this important endeavor that features an integrated and multi-level approach to strengthening Cambodia’s education system.  Famed philosopher Plato once said:  “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life”.  These words ring as true today as they did centuries ago.

We are all here today to recognize the work that has been done under the first two phases of CDPF and to mark its third and final phase. It is important this work continues to help the Ministry of Education ensure that Cambodian children receive the education they need to help prepare them for a bright future.

I believe the work that we will do together to strengthen the Ministry’s capacities in the areas of policy development, planning, finance, personnel, inclusive education, and leadership is critically important. This will ultimately lead to more equitable, inclusive, and quality education services for all children in Cambodia. 

I applaud the Ministry’s continued commitment to education reform and I would like to congratulate it on the success attained so far on numerous reforms. This is particularly true with the grade 12 national exam, a commitment to education quality in the early grades, and the advocacy that has increased funding for the education sector.

We all recognize that reform is a long-term process. It requires resources and firm commitment from all stakeholders to challenge the status quo. Reforms require us to work together to overcome existing and new challenges that emerge and can potentially impede our efforts. I am happy to be here today to stand along with my colleagues from the EU, Sweden, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Education to support these reforms so that every Cambodian child receives a quality education.

As Cambodia continues to see improved economic development, I believe that this third phase of CDPF should increasingly be seen as a catalytic tool to support the Ministry in its journey to self-reliance. As we move forward on phase three of this partnership I hope that we are able to ensure that the Ministry of Education will eventually have the capacity to manage and lead these reforms without donor support. This places a heavy responsibility on all of us to ensure effective transition from donor support to full Ministry ownership and implementation. I look forward to seeing how these CDPF resources strategically support the Ministry’s Capacity Development Master Plan.  Such support in core priority areas should lead to concrete steps for the Ministry to achieve larger tangible outcomes as part of the broader education reform agenda.

I would like to close with a quote from a famous American inventor and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin who said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” I can think of no better investment for a country than to invest in education today to prepare Cambodia’s children for a bright tomorrow.

Thank you, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen for your commitment to this important work. We look forward to celebrating the success of the implementation of CDPF, phase III in the coming years.

Soam Awkun.

Phnom Penh
Issuing Country 

Last updated: November 14, 2018

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