The 3rd Global Alumni Convention, organised by IDP Education (Cambodia), was presided over by Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday.
With 25 years of operation in Cambodia, IDP continues to bring together future and current alumni to ensure ongoing networking, learning and knowledge sharing.
Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport made the opening address at the gala dinner. The convention at Sokha Phnom Penh hotel attracted about 2,000 participants, including social entrepreneurs, students and youth, local and international stakeholders, and other IDP alumni.
The convention brings together local, regional and global office network and contacts. The convention is held for two full days and incorporates a series of events including the Global Education & Business Forum, the Global Education & Career Expo and the Global Alumni Reunion.
Met Rathtevaon, 17, a first-year student majoring in Information Technology from SETEC institute, took part in the Education & Career Expo since he has plans to study abroad and wanted to seek scholarships to continue his graduate studies.
“From the stands in the expo, I found important information in terms of living expenses, tuition fees, and how to apply for scholarships,” he said.
“I am interested in continuing my higher studies in the field of film and media in the US. The courses in Western Michigan University really interest me.”
Magnus Saemundsson, first secretary from the Embassy of Sweden, said the education system in Cambodia needed to be improved.
“If you want to change education, you have to empower students with knowledge. Students must be trained to express themselves and to ask their lecturers difficult questions,” he said.
“If you are afraid of your lecturers, you cannot ask these questions and the learning process will be stalled.”
Sar San, a 21-year-old convention participant from Transparency Cambodia said businesses had to incorporate latest technology “to catch up with the world”.
“Our local stakeholders are not able to catch up with new technology. As a matter of fact, we should innovate for change,” she said.
But she said innovation was happening in the field of arts and culture.
“I am impressed with technological advances to promote Khmer art and culture using multimedia platforms. Also Khmer music is improving by leaps and bounds with more original compositions.”
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said education was a lifelong process that does not stop.
“We live in a global village and young people need to know global issues, embrace diversity, and respect human values. They must have responsibility for their actions.”