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IR 4.0, Skills Training, TVET Tackled in Cambodia Workshop

14 July 2022

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Sihanoukville, 14 July 2022: ‘Thanks to the advances in artificial intelligence (AI), more responsive and adaptable robots can better interact with humans and their environment to perform non-routine, uncertain, and more complicated tasks at lower costs’.  This was amongst the topics covered in the address delivered by Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), during the Regional Workshop on The Labor Market Needs in IR 4.0 Era between the Private Sector and Technical Education Teachers in the ASEAN Region held on 14-15 July 2022. The 2-day workshop, attended by more than 100 participants from the government, private sector, and school teachers from ASEAN Member States, was organised by ERIA; the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO); and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) of the  Royal Government of Cambodia. The event was part of the Cambodian ASEAN Chairmanship in 2022 under the pillar of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

Dr Songheang Ai, Director of SEAMEO Regional Centre for Technical Education Development, welcomed the participants.

Prof Nishimura expressed his gratitude to all participants, MoEYS, and its minister H.E. Dr Hang Chuon Naron, and affirmed ERIA’s commitment to support the Cambodian ASEAN chairmanship 2022. 

Touching upon ERIA’s recent study, the Comprehensive Asia Development Plan (CADP) 3.0, which illustrates the future development of ASEAN and East Asia with the full utilisation of digital technologies such as AI and robotics, Prof Nishimura said these should be welcomed. He said that it is the people’s responsibility to ensure that these technological developments are human-centric and designed to improve human welfare. He added that CADP 3.0 deals with economic development and social problem-solving in the region from a comprehensive perspective of integration, innovation, inclusiveness, and sustainability, and that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) and technical and vocational education and training stimulated by digitalisation would be an important element of CADP 3.0 and will contribute to the region’s further development.

In his closing remarks, H.E. Dr Naron talked about the importance of ASEAN’s common vision, identity, and centrality, as well as integration under the theme of education and skills development despite ASEAN’s different levels of economic development. Minister Naron pointed out that digitalisation not only allows education to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic but also creates new opportunities. He said that the linkage between business and education is important and that people need to consider how education fits with the emerging technology. Thus, he said curricula should be flexible and be able to combine with the business mindset.

The topics of the workshop’s five sessions included the digital transformation of the private sector, schools’ perspectives of skills development, challenges of developing teaching skills, technical education development, and networking. On day 2 of the workshop, the participants went on a field study at the Preah Sihanouk Province special economic zone.

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