Following is the text of an opening speech made by Lee Hai-chan, minister of education, during the opening ceremony of the Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education. -- Ed.
Honorable Mr. Mayor, director-general of UNESCO, Mrs. Horiuchi, assistant director-general of ILO, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
This is my biggest joy to welcome you all to Korea to attend the International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education.
It has a great significance to hold this congress at the end of, the century preparing for a new one. As you are well aware of, the industrial society is replaced by the knowledge based society.
This means a change in the paradigm of technical and vocational education. This congress is even more suggestive for Korea since it is the 100th year after launching a formal technical and vocational education in this land.
We are about to step into a new era of unprecedented changes as national boundaries disappear and globalization proceeds. A new paradigm of economy is formulated as intellectual capital such as knowledge, technology and information replaces tangible and physical assets.
In the light of rapid changes, we are all confronted with new challenges, and we must prepare ourselves to survive through the new era.
The future jobs will require more diverse vocational abilities and knowledge, calling for educational reform and a guaranteed system of lifelong education for all.
This is a common issue and a central task for ail of us here today and I am confident that the outcomes of this international congress will benefit us with a new direction as we strengthen international ties among the member states. …