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Administrative decentralization
Administrative decentralization seeks to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial
resources for providing public services among different levels of governance. It is the transfer
of responsibility for the planning, financing and management of public functions from the
central government or regional governments and its agencies to local governments, semi-
autonomous public authorities or corporations, or area-wide, regional or functional
authorities. The three major forms of administrative decentralization—deconcentration,
delegation, and devolution—each have different characteristics.
Deconcentration
Deconcentration is the weakest form of decentralization and is used most frequently in
unitary states—redistributes decision making authority and financial and management
responsibilities among different levels of the national government. It can merely shift
responsibilities from central government officials in the capital city to those working in
regions, provinces or districts, or it can create strong field administration or local
administrative capacity under the supervision of central government ministries.
Delegation
Main article: Delegation
Delegation is a more extensive form of decentralization. Through delegation central
governments transfer responsibility for decision-making and administration of public
functions to semi-autonomous organizations not wholly controlled by the central government,
but ultimately accountable to it. Governments delegate responsibilities when they create
public enterprises or corporations, housing authorities, transportation authorities, special
service districts, semi-autonomous school districts, regional development corporations, or
special project implementation units. Usually these organizations have a great deal of
discretion in decision-making. They may be exempted from constraints on regular civil
service personnel and may be able to charge users directly for services.
Devolution
Main article: Devolution
Devolution is an administrative type of decentralisation. When governments devolve
functions, they transfer authority for decision-making, finance, and management to quasi-
autonomous units of local government with corporate status. Devolution usually transfers
responsibilities for services to local governments that elect their own elected functionaries
and councils, raise their own revenues, and have independent authority to make investment
decisions. In a devolved system, local governments have clear and legally recognized
geographical boundaries over which they exercise authority and within which they perform
public functions. Administrative decentralization always underlies most cases of political
decentralization.

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Implementation
Like other education reforms, decentralization can result in political winners and losers. The
potential winners are those gaining new decision-making powers, while the potential losers
are those losing those powers. Two of the potential losers–civil servants and teacher unions–
are sufficiently powerful that that they can effectively stop decentralization processes. The
civil servants working in education ministries have perhaps the most to lose, because some of
their jobs become redundant and their power to influence the allocation of resources may be
diminished. In countries where corruption in government is a serious problem, reduced power
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will be also reflected in a reduced ability of civil servants to extract financial or in-kind rents.
The leaders of national teacher unions also lose power to the extent that salary negotiations,
teacher recruitment, and teacher promotion are moved from national to lower levels of
government. Union members may also fear lower salaries if the funding of education is
moved to local governments with fewer sources of government revenues. In countries where
being elected head of a teacher union is an important stepping-stone to a political career,
decentralization of labor negotiations is likely to reduce the political importance of leading
the national union.
The implementation of education decentralization reforms can either be rapid or slow.
Legislative or constitutional changes that immediately transfer responsibilities from the
national to lower levels of government run the risk that lower levels of government will lack
the required administrative capacity required to manage the system well. The result may be
disruption in the delivery of schooling to children that adversely affects their learning, at least
for a time. A more gradual decentralization can allow powers to be transferred to lower levels
of government as those governments gain administrative capacity. The difficulty with gradual
decentralization is that it may never occur at all, as the potential losers marshal their forces to
fight the policy change.
In some countries with serious problems of internal conflict, weak public bureaucracies, or
very weak government finances, one finds de facto decentralization of education. In these
cases, the central government abdicates its responsibility for financing and providing public
education, especially in remote areas, so local communities organize and finance their own
schools and recruit and hire their own teachers. In Africa, the countries of Benin and Togo
provide examples of community control and finance of schools resulting from the lack of
central government supply. In other cases, the central government finances an inadequate
number of teachers and other school resources to ensure schooling of adequate quality. In
these cases, parents may form school councils to raise revenues to hire additional teachers,
construct and equip school buildings, and provide other school resources. By virtue of their
important role in funding education, parents and school councils may exercise significant
decisionmaking power.
School Finance
The financing of decentralized education can be very complicated in systems where two or
three levels of government share financing responsibilities. The choices for financing
education in such systems can be framed as follows: (1) central versus local funding, (2)
conditional versus unconditional grants, and (3) negotiated versus formula-driven grants. The
choices made concerning education finance are extremely important as they determine both
the degree of effective control local governments have as well as the implications for
efficiency and equity.
The single most important choice is whether the level of government providing education (in
most cases, the local government) is expected to generate its own revenues for education
from its own tax and other revenues sources or if it will receive the bulk of the required
educational revenues from a higher level government. Local government capacity to generate
revenues (i.e., its tax base, or its fiscal capacity) tends to vary widely across local
governments within regions or countries. Thus, requiring local governments to raise all their
own revenues for education ensures an unacceptably high degree of inequality in spending
per child. Countries where local governments finance education from their own source
revenues (e.g., Brazil, the United States) have adopted intergovernmental grants to help even
out spending inequalities. In the case of Brazil, the central government provides additional
financing to ensure each jurisdiction spends a minimum amount per student. In the case of the
United States, school finance policies vary by state, but in general they, too, ensure a
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minimum level of spending and, in some cases, put a cap on the maximum amount a local
school district can spend.
Most countries have made the choice to fund a large portion of primary and secondary
education spending from either the regional or national government budgets. This funding
can be provided in one of two ways. Monies can be transferred from the central government
to either the general fund of the local (or regional) government or to a special education fund
of the local (or regional) government. In the former case, the local or regional government
receives funding sufficient to cover a large portion of expected education expenditures, but
the local or regional government makes the decision of how much to spend on education. In
the latter case, the local or regional government is required to spend the grant monies on
education only. Requiring grant monies to be spent on education ensures adequate education
spending but reduces the expenditure autonomy of the local (or regional) government.
Once a decision is made to transfer monies to lower levels of government, a further decision
needs to be made as to how to determine what amount of money should be transferred to each
receiving government. The basic choice is whether to negotiate that amount between
governments or to determine the amount using a capitation formula. Negotiation has political
advantages in that it allows central governments to reward their political allies, and thus it is
often popular. Capitation formulas, however, are more equitable and may also provide
incentives for educational performance. Chile, for example, determines how much it provides
to each local government based on a formula that includes indicators of educational cost,
educational need, and student average daily attendance. Since local governments receive
more revenues if more students are enrolled and attending regularly, the formula has
encouraged those governments to undertake campaigns to keep children in school.
Effects of Decentralization
It is extremely difficult to disentangle the effects of education decentralization policies from
other variables simultaneously affecting educational outcomes, and there have been few
rigorous attempts to do so. Two studies that did attempt to isolate the effects of devolution in
Central America concluded that it increased parental participation, reduced teacher and
student absenteeism, and increased student learning by a significant, but small, amount.
See also: GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATION, THE CHANGING ROLE OF; SCHOOL-
BASED DECISION-MAKING.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
FISZBEIN, ARIEL, ed. 2001. Decentralizing Education in Transition Societies: Case
Studies from Central and Eastern Europe. Washington, DC: World Bank.
HALASZ, GABOR. 1996. "Changes in the Management and Financing of Educational
Systems." European Journal of Education 31 (1):57–71.
HANNAWAY, JANE, and CARNOY, MARTIN, eds. 1993. Decentralization and School
Improvement: Can We Fulfill the Promise? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
ODDEN, ALLAN, and CLUNE, WILLIAM H. 1998. "School Finance Systems: Aging
Structures in Need of Renovation." Educational Evaluationand Policy Analysis 20 (3):157–
177.
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT. 1998.
Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development.
WINKLER, DONALD, and GERSHBERG, ALEC IAN. 2000. "Education Decentralization
in Latin America: The Effects on the Quality of Schooling." In Decentralization and
Accountability of the Public Sector, ed. Shahid Javed Burki et al. Washington, DC: World
Bank.
WOHLSTETTER, PRISCILLA, and ODDEN, ALLAN. 1992. "Rethinking School-Based
Management, Policy, and Research." Educational Administration Quarterly 28:529–542.
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Read more http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1903/Decentralization-


Education.html#ixzz1HIk9Ggcy

http://www.seameo.org/vl/library/DLWelcome/Publications/paper/india04.htm
Arief S Sadiman
Director, SEAMEO Secretariat, Bangkok. Paper presented at the
International Seminar on “Towards Cross Border Cooperation between
South and Southeast Asia: The Importance of India’s North East Playing
Bridge and Buffer Role”, Kaziranga, India, 16-19 November 2004.

Introduction
Southeast Asia is a region covering 4.875.068 sq km which consist of 3,209.506 sq km land
and the rest, 1,665,562 sq km is water. It has ten member countries (Brunei Darussalam,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,
and Vietnam), with a combined total population of around 540 million. The number of
population varies from the fourth world populous country like Indonesia with 238 million
people to the least populace country like Brunei Darussalam (365,251, July 2004 est.).
They are different not only in terms of number of population but also in terms of
geography, culture, and level of socio-economic development (The World Fact book, 2004)
Regardless all those differences, these ten countries share a similar emphasis on human
resource development as a key in developing the whole nation to enter the knowledge-
based economy and global environment. It is realized that we are moving fast forward the
situation in which all nations operate in a global market environment. No country can grow
in isolation. We are facing unprecedented challenges, brought by the convergent impacts of
globalization, the increasing importance of knowledge as a principal driver of growth and
the ICT revolution. Education, as a fundamental human right, is considered very important
and strategic for developing their human resources. The right to education imposes an
obligation upon countries to ensure that all children and citizens have opportunities to meet
their basic learning needs. Promoting Quality and Equity Education is a common policy for
countries in Southeast Asia region regardless their different levels of development.
In the Philippines, “the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality
education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education available to
all” (Art. XIV, Sec. 1) (Ballestamon, 2000). To address marked disparities in the provision
of education in terms of access and quality, the main trust of education sector in Myanmar
is not only quantitative expansion but qualitative improvement as well. (Han Tin, 2000).
Under its motto Building a Modern Development Nation through Education, the vision of
education in Myanmar is to create an education system that will generate a learning society
capable of facing the challenges of the Knowledge Age. (Ministry of Education, 2003).
Malaysia belief that education plays a vital role in achieving the country’s vision of
attaining the status of a fully developed nation in terms of economic development, social
justice and spiritual, moral and ethical strength, towards creating a society that is united,
democratic, liberal and dynamic. It is the mission of education to develop a world class
quality education system which will realize the full potential of the individual and fulfill
the aspiration of the Malaysian nation. (Education Act 1996, Ministry of Education
Malaysia, 2001).
As the smallest country among the Southeast Asian Countries in terms of population,
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Brunei Darussalam clearly sets out its education policy aiming at quality education for all.
One of its primary aims is to provide a minimum of 12 years of education for every Brunei
a child, covering 7 years primary and pre-school, 3 years lower secondary school and 2
years on upper secondary or in a vocational/technical college. (Hamid, 2000)
Similar policy can be found in Lao PDR where Ministry of Education clearly set out their
education development policy on providing quality education for all (Mitaray, 2000).
In Indonesia the national education system is carried out universally, open to every citizen,
regardless of their geographic location, race and ethnicity, religion, socio-economic
background, address the differing needs of people at various stages of societal development
(Purwadi and Muljoatmodjo, 2000).Target has been determined: to increase the access of
children to school in order to succeed the nine-year compulsory basic education by 2008.
Besides increasing the access improving the quality of education is another priority as two
of the three major educational problems in Indonesian are widespread inequitable access to
education and low quality and relevance. (Muhaimin, in Jalal and Musthafa, 2001).
Cambodia, in its education policy and strategic framework 1995/2000 also put quality
improvement and equitable access as the main policy objectives (MOEYS, 2000); while
Vietnam also has a policy that social equity in education and training must be ensured.
Everyone should be given the same education opportunities. The poor should be assisted
and the talented should be facilitated. (Kyeu and Chau, 2000). Study is both the right and
obligation of each citizen. All citizens, regardless of race, religion, belief, sex, family
background, social status and financial condition, are equal in study opportunities. (Kieu,
2002)
Singapore, as the most developed country in the region, has re-defined its mission and
vision of education. Its mission is to mould the future of the nation by molding the people
who will determine the future of the nation. Its vision is Thinking Schools, Learning Nation
(TSLN) as an overall descriptor of an education system geared to meet the needs of the
21st century. (Ministry of Education, 2001).
Among the nine strategies for implementing education reform in Thailand two are related
to the promotion of education quality and expansion of lifelong educational opportunity.
(SEAMEO Secretariat, 2001). Quality improvement has become the ultimate goal in the
provision of education in Thailand in addition to maintenance of equity and social justice.
They believe that success in terms of equity in education without quality will not enable the
Thai people to trive in a knowledge-based economy and society. (Office of the Educational
Council, 2004). The government therefore is committed to provide equal access to lifelong
education and training to all Thai citizens to ensure that they will be equipped with
necessary basic life skills and be employed.
So, we can see that every country considers human resource development as a key element
in developing the whole nation and education plays a pivotal role in developing their
human resources. It is not surprising that all governments commit themselves to provide
equal access to high quality education and learning to all their children and people.
However, opening access to quality education and learning opportunity to all children and
people is not always easy as there are a number of constraints. The basic challenge is how
to meet these two conflicting requirements: on the one hand the demand for rapid
expansion of the scale of provision and on the other hand the requirement to improve the
quality of provision. There is a tendency that quality is not adequately addressed (being
sacrificed) due to the fast expansion of learning opportunity

The following factors contribute to inequality of education and learning opportunity:


a) Lack of available school building and classroom with all required facilities.
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This might not apply to countries like Brunei and Singapore but most of the countries in this
region are still facing this problem.
b) Shortage of teachers, especially in remote areas; That is one of the reason in
countries like Thailand and Indonesia there are multi grade teachers where one teacher
teaches more than one grades of primary school.
c) Uneven spread of population, which also creates serious disparities in educational
opportunity; especially in a big country like Indonesia.
With 18 provinces, 141 districts and around 12,000 villages and population around 5.5
million people Lao PDR has serious disparities in educational opportunity due to uneven
spread of population and the inaccessible nature of much of the country. About 4,000 villages
lack of primary schools.
d) Lack of good textbooks and other learning materials. Due to financial and
geographical reason this problem can easily be found in remote schools.
e) Geographical location.
There are still many students living in remote areas where it is difficult to reach them or ask
them to go to the school due to lack of adequate transportation system or schools. In some
places, number of students is so small so that it will be very expensive to build a school
building to serve their needs. On the other hand teacher: students ratio usually bigger in urban
areas in compare to the remote ones. It is not unusual to see 60 or even more students in a
class with one teacher in some of the countries.
f) Student’s and parent’s low appreciation toward education.
They don’t see the benefit of going to or sending their children to school. This is magnified
by the fact that many school or even university graduates cannot get any job and remain
unemployed. In some countries community belief, tradition and value limit girls’ opportunity
to go to school or continue their study to a higher level.
g) Level of socio-economic condition of the family.
About one third of the population in Southeast Asia, at the average, lives below the poverty
line. Except Brunei and Singapore, where there is no data available, all countries still have
problem with poverty. High percentage of people living below the poverty line can be found
in Lao PDR (40%), Philippines (40%), Vietnam (37%), Cambodia (36%), Indonesia (27%),
and Myanmar (25%). The rest of the countries have smaller percentage: Thailand (10.4%)
and Malaysia (8%) (The World Fact book, 2004). For poor families education is not an
urgent need. Due to economic reason students have to work for helping their parents or for
their family and do not have time to attend the conventional education and training system.
In the Philippines there is an increasing demand for children to assist their parents in
providing for the family’s day-to-day needs. Access and equity for the poor become the
major issue in financing education in this country. The pressures of family survival combined
with the parent’s own attitude toward education ultimately determine whether or not a child
will be able to stay in school despite the limited financial resources of family.( Ballestamon,
2000).
h) Lack of budget for building more schools, classrooms, learning facilities.
Funding is always an issue in promoting education opportunity as we are dealing with so big
number of children and people in a wide geographic area. Many governments have focused
their efforts on the easy to reach for social, economic or geographic reasons.

Quality in education cannot be seen from the output or student learning achievement only,
but from other components as well. If we follow the Dakar’s Framework of Action, then the
definition of quality is no longer focused only on teaching learning and the classroom. A
good quality education requires:
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- Healthy, well nourished and motivated students,


- Well motivated and professionally competent teacher,
- Active learning techniques,
- A relevant curriculum,
- Adequate, environmentally friendly and easily accessible facilities,
- Healthy, safe and protective learning environments,
- A clear definition and accurate assessment of learning outcomes, including knowledge,
skills, attitude and values,
- Participatory governance and management, and
- Respect for and engagement with local communities and cultures. (World Education
Forum Drafting Committee, 2000).
We cannot expect to have good quality education if the students are not healthy,
malnourished, going to school with empty stomachs. Their basic need for food will decrease
their attention and motivation from learning. The significant number of people living below
the poverty line in the region needs real actions if we really want to improve the quality of
education.
Addressing the Problem of Quality
Improving quality of education is really one of the big challenges faced by countries in
Southeast Asia. Several measures have been undertaken such as :
1) Train teachers, school principals and other educational personal and upgrade their
professional competency.
Teachers, who are not only knowledgeable and innovative, but highly disciplined, strongly
motivated and dedicated. Competency-based approach has been used to meet this goal. To
ensure quality, the status of teaching profession is being upgraded by making classroom
teaching an attractive profession comparable to other professional career paths by improving
teachers’ welfare. Incentive and facilities were introduced such as providing opportunities for
further studies, presenting appropriate awards for dedicated teachers, determining appropriate
allowances for teachers teaching critical subjects and those teaching in remote areas, etc. to
make the teaching profession more attractive.
In Malaysia plans are under way to attract the best people to teaching by providing housing
facility, car loans at low interest rates and scholarship to further studies at the masters and
PhD level.
Malaysia’s targets are to improve achievement among children. Apart from overall
achievement, emphasis is placed on science, mathematics, English and in bridging the digital
divide with the introduction of ICT literacy.
Since last year Malaysian government start implementing a new policy in education; teaching
science and mathematic using English as medium of instruction. The challenge is they do not
have enough capable teachers doing that job. Training (both pre and in-service training) has
been done but it seems it will take times to have all science and math teachers capable in
teaching those subjects using English.

To ensure that a competent teaching force is maintained to deliver quality education,


Singapore MOE has introduced programmes that focus on talent management, leadership
selection and review of teachers’ workload. Various initiatives, from faster promotion
prospects to awards, have been introduced, to acknowledge the role teachers play, and raise
the standing and morale of the profession.
2) Revise curriculum and make it more relevant and appropriate.
Effort is also undertaken to match the skills provided in education and training with the skills
required by the industry and world of work and to improve the image of technical education
by integrating vocational and technical education with general education.
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Singapore, for example, has been imparting values and skills through a forward-looking
curriculum. MOE has been reviewing and introducing changes to the curriculum, assessment
modes and teaching methodologies in order to impart core skills, values and attitudes to our
students. Some of these changes include reduction of the syllabus content, infusion of IT and
thinking skills through the launch of the IT Master Plan in Education in 1997, as well as
introducing project work to help the different disciplines.
Thailand under its Decade for Quality and Equity in Education during 2002-2011 has
developed a core curriculum for basic education aimed at preserving Thai identity and
providing international contents to enable learners to keep up with updated information. It is
flexible enough to facilitate the community to make adjustments in response to local
demands.
Malaysia aims to equip all school leavers with an employable skill with which to secure
employment in the job market, and for those who choose to be self-employed, they are taught
the rudiments of entrepreneurship and the setting up of a small business in the field that they
have been trained.
As the smallest country in terms of population, Brunei has the highest unemployment rate
(10%,est.2001). (World Fact Book, 2004). For that reason the MOE Brunei is trying to
reduce unemployment by matching the skills provided in education and training with the
skills required by the industry and world of work. The Ministry is also making efforts to
improve the image of technical education by integrating vocational and technical education
with general education.
In Indonesia, MONE is providing pre-vocational skills especially to the poor students who
are enrolled in open junior secondary schools as part of life skills programs. In 2002 there are
1,000 out of 3,121 open junior secondary schools covered by the program.
In reforming its curriculum, Thailand allows for contribution/participation of stakeholders, to
meet new challenges and demands of difference groups of learners with an emphasis on
mathematics, science, and technology in parallel with the promotion of pride in national
identity and cultural heritage;
3) Increase the availability, accessibility and quality of textbooks and other learning
materials.
Thailand, under it Education Reform policy requires the students to use various learning
sources besides their textbooks. Electronic sources are encouraged to expand a knowledge
base of both learners and teachers.

Indonesia, in order to bridge urban-rural gaps is procuring textbooks prioritized to the remote
areas. Currently, the ratio of textbooks to students is still 1:3, while the ideal one is 1:1.
The other countries are also trying to provide the learners with good quality, enough in
quantity and easily accessible learning materials.
4) Improve teaching-learning process, shift it from a conventional to a leaner-centered
approach with an emphasis on self- learning to promote lifelong learning and relevant
to real situations and their daily life.
MOE Singapore seeks to identify, as early as possible, the talents and abilities of students and
develop educational programmes to cater to their different needs, abilities, aptitudes and
learning modalities. There is a need to structure different educational routes for children of
different ability groups and move towards a model of mass customisation in the provision of
education.
5) Provide the schools and learning institutions with more and better learning facilities.
Even though Singapore is the most developed economically country in the region but
attention is still being paid to school infrastructure, including the building of new schools,
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making all secondary schools go single-session and reviewing school designs for flexibility
and expandability.
6) Use ICT both for teaching – learning and management purposes.
All countries have been trying to integrate the use of technology, especially ICT to improve
the quality of their education.
Thailand has been using radio and television broadcasting intensively to provide good quality
education to all formal as well non-formal students. Indonesia trains hundred thousands of
primary school teachers using the same media. New policy on ICT has been set up and action
plans has been developed by the countries. E-education/virtual education/on-line education
become a common trend we can find in most of the countries.
The MOE Malaysia considers ICT as a means, not an end in itself. All departments in the
MOE are actively engaged in the implementation of the ICT in education policy. (UNESCO
Bangkok, 2003). Malaysia has launched their SMRT School project as one of the seven
flagship applications of the Multimedia Super Corridor to systematically reform the
Malaysian school system and transforming a culture of memory based examination oriented
learning to a thinking creative and problem solving culture. (Ministry of Education, 2001)
Philippines, with its ICT Plan for Basic Education focuses on seven key areas :infrastructure
development, technical support, teacher training on the design, production and use of ICT-
based instructional materials, research and development, technology integration in the
curriculum, use of innovative technologies in education and training, and fund generation.
(UNESCO, 2003)
7) Apply school-based quality improvement by combining school-level autonomy with
accountability.
This approach empowers the schools by promoting participative decision-making and
flexibility in allocating school resources. At the higher education level, more autonomy has
been given to universities and colleges.
Since schools play a vital role in developing children in all aspects of skills, school reform is
a fundamental element of quality improvement. With this justification, Thailand has
introduced the concept of school-based management to schools as part of school reform
aiming to improve quality in education. Local schools are able to independently administer
their schools to assure close participation of local community. Administrators will be trained
to keep pace with new administration techniques related to effective school management.
(Office of the Educational Commission, 2003)
8) Introduce bilingual system of education to enable students achieves high degree of
proficiency in national and international languages.
Brunei and Malaysia believe that proficiency in English will allow students easier access to
information on development of science and technology, and as a result, take advantage of
more opportunities to compete in an increasingly globalize world. Cambodia introduces
foreign language teaching (French and English) in grades 5 and 6.
9) A good reading habit is a prerequisite for better learning.
Some countries like Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia are promoting book and reading among
the school children, youth and the community in general.
10) Strengthen partnership with foreign educational institutions through twinning
programme, credit transfers, validation and accreditation, distance learning and Open
University programmes.
In Malaysia, to open up foreign education to Malaysians, the Education Ministry approved
the 3+0 foreign degree programmes. Students are able to obtain foreign degree locally. The
presence of offshore campuses will provide the impetus to higher education institutions to
improve their quality and standard of education.
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Cooperation with foreign partners in education is also encouraged in Vietnam, Thailand and
Indonesia.
11) Strengthen partnership with community, private and business sectors. This will help
minimizing the gap between education and the world of work.
MOE Singapore, like in other countries, recognizes the importance of involving schools,
parents, community and industries as partners in education. Efforts have been made to
involve the various stakeholders at the Ministry and school levels.
12) Giving more autonomy to education institutions/schools to manage their education
process. Decentralization becomes a common agenda of education reform in most of the
countries in the region.
Lao PDR, for example, is improving the management of non-formal education programs
through increased decentralization of management and activities, with improved training of
trainers. (Mitaray, 2000).
Indonesia gives more autonomy to the school to improve quality of education by assuring the
implementation of school-based management program.
It is really a challenge for the country moving education environment from centralized to
decentralized system. The consequences, among others, are as follows. Since they have more
autonomy, some local governments at district level are trying to develop their own education
systems, which sometimes are not congruent with the national system. The new bureaucracy
system at the district level, which requires appropriate adjustment, has caused a time
constraint in implementing quality and equity improvement programmes. In addition, some
districts with low income have some reasonable difficulties in developing their education
program. Therefore, they are still highly dependent on the budget allocated by the central
government. (SEAMEO Secretariat, 2001)
Thailand also decentralize authority to local communities for self-reliance and self-
determination of local affairs, while Vietnam renovate strongly state governance over
education by decentralizing dramatically educational management and bring into full play the
initiative and self-responsibility of educational institutions. For this purpose, a project of
decentralization in education is being implemented.
Ballestamon, Salvacion U.; Narvasa, Barnadette L; Cabasal , Maribel P; Gonda, Beverly A;
and Prado, Eleanor G., The Filipino’s Commitment to Quality Education, Journal of SEA
Education, Journal of SEA Education, Volume 1, Number 1, 2000, Pages 163-184.

Central Intelligence Agency, USA, the World Fact Book 2004,


http://www.odci.gov/cia/publictions/factbook/index.html.

Hamid, Rasani, Education in Brunei Darussalam, Journal of SEA Education, Volume 1


Number 1, 2000, Pages 21- 51.

Jalal,Fasli.PhD and Musthafa, Bahrudin, PhD, Education Reform, in the Context of Regional
Autonomy: The Case of Indonesia, Ministry of National Education, Jakarta, 2001.

Kieu,Tran, Education in Vietnam: Current State and Issues, The Gioi Publishers, Hanoi,
2002.

Kieu, Tran and Chau, Nguyen Huu, Education in Vietnam, Journal of SEA Education,
Volume 1 Number 1, 2000. Pages 219 – 241.

Kotkam, Chantarat, Education in Thailand, Journal of SEA Education , Volume 1 number 1,


2000. Pages 202 – 218.
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Ministry of Education Malaysia, Education in Malaysia, A Journey to Excellence, 2001.

Ministry of Education, e-Government Initiatives in the Myanmar Education Sector, The


Government of the Union of Myanmar, 2003.

Ministry of Education, The Singapore Education System, Journal of SEA Education, Volume
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