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Ministry’s public consultations are a good first step

June 1, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Wan Saiful Wan Jan, via e-mail

The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) yesterday released its latest policy ideas that looks into the ongoing National Education Policy Dialogues organised by the Ministry of Education.

The briefing paper can be downloaded here.

IDEAS believes that the serious effort by the Ministry to engage the public is highly commendable, and Muhyiddin Yassin, the Minister of Education, must be congratulated for leading it. We fully support the Ministry’s effort.

The dialogue series being held in all states across the country has been successful in attracting a large number of participants. We have attended all the dialogues held so far in order to observe the proceedings.

In our latest Policy Ideas, we summarised our observations and made the following two recommendations that we feel can help the Ministry in making the dialogue series more effective:

1 There must be more efforts to attract a more diverse members of the public, especially parents. The dialogues held so far have been dominated by teachers and PIBG representatives to the extent that the issues raised are too narrowly focused on their needs only. For example, there were many conversations around improving provisions for teachers, but there was almost no conversation about how to remove under-performing teachers.

2 The Ministry should make public the full report “Education System Review: Malaysia” that they have compiled and presented to the government in April this year. This report is important because it provides key background data that can help the public understand the challenges faced by our education system today so that they can come to the dialogue series with better understanding.

The writer is Chief Executive of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)


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