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博鳌亚洲论坛原理事长、亚洲教育论坛发起者、菲律宾前总统拉莫斯先生开幕致辞

Introductory
       As one of the elders in our one “Asia Family,” I am delighted to join you all once again at this Annual Conference of our Education Forum for Asia.
       A year short of a decade since we inaugurated EFA in Beijing with State Councilor Madame Chen Zhili as our Keynote Speaker, our networks of cooperation, knowledge exchange, and mutual aid have spread all over Eurasia – and reached out into Europe and America.  We can all look back to both short-term goals already attained and longer-term objectives drawing near.
       In a word, we can look back to the past nine years with satisfaction enough; and to the future with justifiable confidence.
       Let me say, in passing, that for me, this 2012 gathering is all the more welcome because it is being held here in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province – whose people are as gracious and productive, as their food is spicy and delicious.
Economic Reforms Greatly Benefited Sichuan and Chengdu
       The epochal reforms that – over these past three decades – have shifted the weight of China’s economy toward the private sector have greatly benefited Sichuan Province.  Its economy is fast growing in sophistication and competitiveness.
       Meanwhile, Chengdu City has become the hub of science and technology; trade and finance; communication and technology for all of southwestern China, and serves as one of China’s major gateways to the West.
       What’s more, Chengdu’s human resources – this city’s population has grown to three million – are beginning to catch world-wide attention.  Almost 200 or so of the Top 500 global corporations already have a presence here; and more are coming in – attracted by Chengdu City’s vision for its brighter future.
We Have Much To Learn From One Another
       Basically, Chengdu’s leaders plan to make their city’s education more open to international influences; and the whole of the city into a global metropolis.
       They aspire to access global education resources that would enable Chengdu to develop a world-class education system.
       In this era of quickening globalization, we have much to learn from each other that will help us achieve our common program of sustainable growth, greater political openness, and inclusive development that leaves no one behind.
Asia Will Be Home To Two Of The Four Greatest Economies
       By 2025, Asia should be home to two of the world’s four largest economies.  By then, China and India will be competing with the United States and the European Union for the honor of being “Number One.”
       And if Asia continues to grow on the trajectory of the past 30 years, our continent could – by 2050 – account for more than half of global GDP, trade and investment, from about one-fourth in 2010.
       Asian individual incomes could rise six-fold to equal the global average.  And some three billion Asians now mired in poverty and deprivation would become affluent by today’s standards.
       Asia as a whole would regain the leading global economic position it had held some 300 years ago – before the Industrial Revolution.  And the 21st century could indeed become “The Asian Century.”
But Asia’s Future Is No Means Pre-Ordained
       But these economic and social projections of the Asian Development Bank – while optimistic – also warn that Asia’s ascent is “by no means pre-ordained.”
       To get to that desirable future, we Asians need not only to sustain the world’s highest growth rates.  We must also strengthen State capacity; open up our economies; ensure health care for our poorest families; and provide good basic education for their children.  All Asia-Pacific nations need to empower their peoples more in order to achieve better economy, enduring peace and sustainable development. 
The Primacy Of Knowledge In The Future World
        Historically land, labor, and capital have been the classical building blocks of production.  But in this new century, knowledge has become what the American economist Peter Drucker calls “the true capital and the premier wealth-producing resource.”
        Drucker memorably describes the emerging global community as the “Knowledge Society.”
        Today, value is created – not so much by capital, natural resources, or muscle power – but by “productivity” and “innovation” – both of which are the applications of knowledge put to work.
Industrialization By Borrowing Is No Longer Possible
         As we recall, the colonized countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa began to modernize their economies only after they gained independence.
        Typically, these new countries started to industrialize, not by invention or innovation, but by borrowing and learning from the earlier industrializers.  And, in our region, they succeeded so well the World Bank called their feat of sustained growth – between 1965 until 1990 – the “East Asian miracle.”
        But now that more and more of our emerging economies are attaining “first world” status, they may no longer exploit the advantages of “late industrialization.” They must begin to compete at the cutting-edge of knowledge and creativity.
The Challenges Of Innovation And Invention
         Emerging countries like China, South Korea, and India have begun to compete – in select industries – at the very frontier of innovation.  But far too many of our countries are still unable to meet the challenges of the knowledge society and modernization. 
         Public education rarely has a high priority in poor-country budgets.  In the frenzied competition for public funds in many national societies, school children are all too easy for lawmakers to neglect -- because they’re too young to vote.
         In the Philippines until now – only 66% of all those who enter Grade-I get to enter high school, and only 46% finish high school.  Many of our young people lack the work skills to take up the jobs the modern economy opens up – for instance, in the burgeoning business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.  This is why, even during periods of high growth, our country still suffers from high joblessness and under-employment.
         Because of such a situation world-wide, our Education Forum for Asia must also become a intra-continental lobby for progressive education policies in every Asian state.
Learning Has Become A Life-Long Process
         Finally, I also believe our Forum must begin to preach that, in the “Knowledge Society” of humankind’s better future, education has become a potent Weapon of Mass Upliftment (WMU), which means that it must be practised by all as a life-long process.
         Nowadays, the formal education our young people receive merely prepares them for the learning process they must undergo throughout their lives.
         So swift has the generation – and transmission – of knowledge gained momentum that today’s wisdom soon becomes obsolete or inadequate for life tomorrow.
         Professionals such as scientists, engineers, lawyers, managers, physicians, biologists, sociologists, teachers – among others – must refresh and renew their knowledge continually.
         While schools must always stimulate individuality, originality, and creativity in those they educate, the end-product of education in our Knowledge Society must be an open and active mind, and the inquiring spirit that keeps any person eager to discover things for himself or herself.

KAYA NATIN ITO!   (We can do this)!!
Thank you and Mabuhay -- Best wishes !!!

 

亚洲教育论坛发起者、尼泊尔前首相比斯塔先生开幕致辞
联合国教科文组织北京办事处主任辛格先生开幕致辞
 























 

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