TOKYO (XINHUA) - The top bureaucrat at Japan's education ministry resigned on Friday (Sept 21) to account for a string of bribery cases involving its officials that have rocked the ministry. Mr Kazuo Todani's resignation comes on the heels of two other former senior ministry officials who were arrested and indicted over the bribery cases. Mr Todani's departure marks the second time a vice education minister has been forced to resign in less than two years. Following the arrests of the two former senior ministry officials, the education ministry launched a probe into the scandals led by a team of lawyers. The probe, which was expanded to all ministry employees, subsequently revealed that Mr Todani and two bureau chiefs were wined and dined by former corporate executives, likely in return for favours, in violation of the code of ethics for national civil servants. Prosecutors believe Mr Todani was involved in the wining and dining by the executives and have since searched his office. Mr … [Read more...] about Top bureaucrat at Japan’s scandal-mired education ministry quits amid more bribery scandals
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It has been a decade since successive Indonesian governments began devoting 20% of the national budget to education. Yet two recent studies suggest such little progress has been made that the country’s education system has now become a major impediment to national development and economic growth. For political analysts, it also raises the issue of whether poor education lies at the heart of the country’s faltering progress towards democratization and why an unquestioning populace-at-large is so easily led by self-interested politicians and their corporate allies. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox President Joko Widodo and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati have both come to recognize that serious improvements must be made in the quality of government spending, a theme also picked up in the World Bank’s latest Quarterly Report on Indonesia. “It’s a failure of design,” Indrawati, a former World Bank managing … [Read more...] about ‘Education emergency’ stymies Indonesia’s growth
SINGAPORE: Lifelong learning is encouraged in Singapore through incentives and myriad opportunities through programmes such as the SkillsFuture Initiative.Institutions of higher learning also present an attractive platter of degree programmes and micro-credentials for continual learning.But in a world where one can Google for almost anything, some may argue knowledge is almost ubiquitous. At the heart of it is this question - do we still need to accumulate knowledge if we can call up information so easily?For many of us who have completed our formal education, do such trends suggest that the value of pursuing additional formal education qualifications to move up the career ladder has vastly diminished?Local media reports submit that such a debate about degrees versus skills has been underway. If so, it is useful to focus this discussion on what acquiring skills mean in today’s world.In delivering the Budget 2018 statement earlier this month, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat … [Read more...] about Commentary: Why take up a postgrad education when I can Google almost anything?
“I am afraid we are going to repeat the mistake of the United States,” said Asst Professor Athapol Anunthavorasakul, a lecturer at the Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education and director of the Thai Civic Education Centre. He said he suspected that the government’s definition of public schools would be similar to charter schools in the US. A charter school receives government funding but operates independently of the established state school system in which it is located. “But charter schools have finally become more like private schools and they can charge parents for services. In the end, their presence turns state schools into educational institutes for second-class citizens,” Athapol said. He added that he feared the introduction of something like charter schools in Thailand would only widen the educational gap in the country. Athapol said policymakers should have consulted all relevant parties before pushing … [Read more...] about ‘Public school’ approach risks widening education gap, professor warns
But no matter how much media attention the structural plans have generated, the essence of any change to education should still surround teacher reform. Undeniably, an educational system’s standard can never be higher than the quality of its teachers. So no matter what plans the Education Ministry or the NCPO have for the future of Thai education, first they must work hard to improve our teachers. It is high time Thailand seriously studied successful models like those Singapore and Finland have embraced. These two countries already rank best in the world when it comes to education. The Singaporean government first laid down its strong educational foundation in the 1980s, when its teacher-education institute started recruiting only the top 30 per cent of school graduates. The goal was to attract great talent to the teaching profession so that Singaporean students could have the best teachers. Back then, it also hired Marshall Cavendish – a … [Read more...] about Education’s first goal: quality teachers