Malaysian PM calls for regional education policies

March 13th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 13 (Xinhua) Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Thursday called for the formulation of dynamic regional education policies that could continuously spearhead holistic developments in Asean region. The Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Education remained the foremost key that would ensure the region stay competitive and relevant in facing the growing challenges in the globalised world,” he said here.

Due to the socio-economic challenges in the local and global stages, Asean should redouble its effort to ensure that their education system was able to prepare its people adequately to meet the challenges,” he said.

“Looking ahead, there is no greater challenge for our region than the pursuit of socio-economic development. In this respect, education plays a bigger role than most others.

“Hence, it is pivotal for Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) member countries to close ranks and formulate appropriate regional education policies and strategies that will strengthen the socio-economic development of the region,” Malaysia’s Bernama news agency quoted Badawi as saying.

He made the remarks in a keynote address read out by Malaysian Education Ministry Secretary-General Zulkarnain Awang at the 43rd SEAMEO Council Conference.

Education also played an imperative role in bridging divides in member countries at both national and regional levels, and its system must also be continuously strengthened and tested for its relevance to ensure sustainable growth, Badawi said.

“In the context of developing a more equitable world, it is useful to remind ourselves that many gaps and divides remain, the socio-economic gap, the education gap, the rural-urban divide, the digital divide and so on,” he said.

In Malaysia, he said, education was one of the most heavily invested sectors with 23 percent of the annual budget being allocated for various projects and initiatives such as enhancing teaching facilities in the rural areas, providing allowances for disabled students and introducing a textbook scheme.

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