Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the ceremony to announcing “the Winners of the Model Public Service Units in Education and Health in 2023 and the Launching of Contests for 2024″ [Unofficial Translation]

CMF:

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(1) Every term, place and time the government expands positive achievements and reduces negative things

As in the short video clip we watched, we see the efforts to strengthen and expand the achievements of the people […] they are not on paper, but the actual results on the ground, and this result is based on the foundation of our villages, communes and districts […] the Royal Government of all legislative terms, places, and times, have been focusing on two big goals. Firstly, to expand more positive achievements for the people, and secondly, to strive to evaluate, improve, reduce negative things […] if we expand only positive achievements and we do not reduce what is a problem, it would be difficult still […]

Some asked what difference does the new government’s policy make from those before. Let me assure you that we are taking two positions – sustainability and consistency of political goals to serve the people and make our country more prosperous, to become a high-income country by 2050. Consistency is what we need to put in place through the pentagonal strategy – Phase I, which is a continuation of the (former Royal Government’s) rectangular strategy. We do not make revolutions out of it but we continue sustain it […]

And other asked whether we will be able to make any progress if we are to ensure sustainability by adhering to the same policy. The policy is the same, but what has changed is the choice of priorities and implementation methods to achieve the goals need to be innovative and creative […] without a policy balance, and consistency, we cannot achieve the goals […] whereas in (the last 40 some years), the Royal Government of Cambodia has led with sustainability, balanced and innovative […]

(The Royal Government of the 7th legislature has laid out) the six priority political programs and five key measures […] which focus firstly on public administration reform to monitor and evaluate our reform efforts, to out our house in order, effectiveness, strengthen methods, and continue to reform the health and education sector […] to reduce negativity […] provide safety to village/commune/sangkat, to combat against drugs and reduce negativity in the justice system […]

(2) The primary priority of the five key measures is public administration reform

In the seventh legislature Royal Government […] of the five key points measures in the reform efforts, the reform of public administration is the primary priority, whereas the first effort is to recruit new officials based on the principles of meritocracy […]; the second effort is to review and revise the ministries and institutions internally, readjust where there are too many, and fix where there are not enough […]; and the third effort is to set up an incentive system for officials based on meritocracy and quality of work […] this reform effort is not a revolution, but a new implementing approach […]

I have noticed the attack on the promotion of the Minister of Public Service to the rank of Deputy Prime Minister […] this ministry acts as an assistant (to the Royal Government) in the implementation of the reform of public functions that is relevant to all ministries and institutions […] which is the priority requirements. We need to increase rights, roles and weights so that he is able lead and implement in the interests of the whole nation […]

(3) The Prime Minister directly leads the reform of public functions, education and health

We have set up another national committee headed by the Prime Minister to oversee the three reforms – public functions, education and health because these three areas are important that we need to be effective, consistent and bearing weight for the national interest […]; setting key policies for education […] I have said it that this term is for strengthening and not for expanding. If any area needed expansion, there must be clear arguments, and this also includes the recruitment of new officials […] that we must take care of local officials through putting together policies in such a way that they do not disappear […]

Please correct the definition of contract officials. Do not focus only on administrative officials or junior assistants. Let us open the door for contract professional officials. If s/he has a doctorate, s/he has a degree, s/he is old, s/he can come and help the government without having to be registered in full force. We need to think on this issue. The salary framework must be consistent […] if the contract official is a professionally qualified, […] let us give her/him the same salary as the fully civil servants. Do not pay them only 70% (of the civil servants) […]

(In the field of education) local teachers do not have to have a full framework to be eligible. We need to give rights and opportunities altogether […] this is what I say about our goal to strengthen local schools, where in the past many terms, we built schools to the grassroots, and now, we are putting in place the new approach to guarantee the use of total force and open opportunities at the grassroots level […]

(4) Select two or three pillars out of 100 to strengthen local performance

Why do we need to establish the National Committee to oversee development in education as well as health, especially at the local level? […] for the target framework where there are more than 100 pillars to work with, we are gathering every strength available to reinforce the chosen two or three pillars first. This is a phase of reinforcement rather than expansion. Strengthen what? It is to strengthen the journey to the grassroots. In the field of education, we have prepared to strengthen from the kindergarten through to the 12th grade […] now the team is preparing various plans to learn how to implement […] if we were able to strengthen the quality of students from the kindergarten to the 12th grade, when they go to higher education, they would have strong foundation […]

(5) Strengthen education and health at the district level and share successful experience in the country

In the field of education and health, we focus on strengthening (district education offices) and district health centers and referral hospitals at level 1 or level 2 as priority. We are also working to help with the provincial hospitals, but we make efforts to strengthen health centers at the district level as priority. What do we take as a basis for strengthening? […] there is bible from the World Bank or from the United States […] but the experience that we have learnt locally in the country […]

Before the July-2023 election, I sent a research team to study and gather opinions and practical experiences from some elementary and middle schools in 25 capitals/provinces […] I have learnt about the creativity of many teachers and school leaders. They are good and real experience. In some places, they have turned a school from one full of rubbish, one received disinterestedness of parents, and one that students did not come to class, in one or years, to become the one with good hygiene, discipline and well behave in school and at home. The stark point is they have done that without help of additional budget from the state […]

(6) The national mechanism to promote successful school activities in response to three key challenges

The Ministry of Education (Youth and Sports) has done a lot of experimentation and sharing experiences […] but there may be some key challenges […] Firstly, whether after the experiment, would they be able to go on practicing it? If they do, would there be anyone that helps guide it? […] since there are many works that interweave together before it gains the community supports […]; secondly, how to provide support? Some schools may want to implement the program, but they may not have the ability to do it yet […]; and thirdly, who is overseeing or monitoring? […] we need to set up a national mechanism to ensure the work functioning in consistency, to help orientate and implement, to share successful experiences with clustered schools and to share with other schools that wish to do the same […]

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(7) People in their 50s look 30s these days

Regarding the (model public service units in education and health) contest, I would like to once again congratulate […] the management team, teaching staff, in all schools, from the kindergarten to the higher education, and medical staff and doctors of the health institutions, from health centers to national doctors, for their hardworking duty to serve the people all over the country, and not just for the winning unit (of the contests) […] (people now have been living in) longevity due to doctors, children are born in good health and mothers are safe are because of doctors. We are not angels, but we do the work of angels. The same is true for teachers. People pray to angels for the success in education and careers of their children.

Teachers are the ones who help them from a younger age until they have the knowledge and ability to work successfully. So, doctors and teachers perform the angelic duties/work in that sense […] two professions – teachers and doctors – carry their title for life, wherever they go, […] I am now the Prime Minister, but I address my teacher, who is now retired, “teacher” […] The real score is on the trust, vision and support of the people we help. This is the real score that teachers, school management, academic staff, doctors, health center staff, referral doctors must all make efforts to do these angelic jobs […]./.

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