Friendship Dinner with Lecturers

On January 18, 2016, the academy and education unit of the Mekong Dialogue Institute (MDI) organized 11th friendship dinner at Icon Professional Building in purpose to build the relationship and cooperation for discussion, sharing, exchange ideas and experiences on the quality of education in present and future. There were 50 participants attended in the event as lecturers and government officials.

Mr. Hakan Atasever, the executive president of Mekong Dialogue Institute delivered a welcome speech to the lecturers that the education is very important for society and the core strategy of education has two wings as scientific education-skill and spiritual education-virtual.

There were 3 interesting topics focused on the education of Cambodia were shared by lecturers from different Universities.  First topic was presented by Prof. Hoeurn Somnieng on “Value Education” with three main points such as the purpose of education, what does education do?, and the level of education. The second topic on “The objective of Buddhist education” was shared by Prof. Hing Yan.  He mentioned that Buddhist education is based on ideally, education is the principal tool of human growth, essential for transforming the unlettered child into a mature and responsible adult.  Thus wisdom is the crown and pinnacle of the entire system of Buddhist education, and all the preliminary steps in a Buddhist educational system should be geared toward the flowering of this supreme virtue. It is with this step that education reaches completion, that it becomes illumination in the truest and deepest sense, as exclaimed by the Buddha on the night of his Awakening: "There arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and light." Third topic is “Buddhist Ethic” was shared by Prof. Noun Thong. He said that Buddhist ethics are traditionally based on what Buddhists view as the enlightened perspective of the Buddha, or other enlightened beings such as the Noble Eightfold Path, and is a code of conduct that embraces a commitment to harmony and self-restraint with the principal motivation being non-violence, or freedom from causing harm. It has been variously described as virtue, right conduct, morality, moral discipline precept.

After finished the presentation session Mr. Hakan thanked for all participants for fruitful sharing and discussion about the quality of education of Cambodia from their own perspective. Moreover, they have thinking about future cooperation and contribution among them and with MDI in order to improve the quality of education in Cambodia. In this gathering, MDI has distributed notebooks with the key messages about the interfaith co-existence in Cambodia and the Love and Tolerance magazine which contents about religion and society, Cambodian tradition on tolerance and co-existence, the necessity for dialogue, Gulen’s interfaith initiatives, Gulen’s approaches on education.