Budget 2022: Govt must utilise technology to track success, transparency of various assistance programmes

Education should be given more allocation under the Budget 2022, says Associate Professor with Taylor’s University, Dr Hafezali bin Iqbal Hussain.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 – The best mechanism for tracking success would be to utilise technology in order to gauge the success of various assistance provided by the government, says Dr. Hafezali bin Iqbal Hussain, Associate Professor for the School of Management & Marketing at Taylor’s Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, Taylor’s University.

Speaking to Weekly Echo ahead of the Budget 2022, which will be tabled at the Parliament this Friday, Dr Hafezali was asked on how best the government could ensure that the various assistances, grants it is providing to small and medium enterprises and businesses are being well tracked both to gauge the success levels and to ensure transparency.

The tracking could also potentially include measures such as number of jobs created or employees retained through the assistance, Dr. Hafezali said.

“In addition, the amount of new investment made is also an important proxy for gauging the success of the assistance provided. The strategy would be to develop a policy monitoring tool and evaluation system which can be utilised to assess the success levels.

“Such a system would need to take into account that some programmes aimed at SMEs may yield short term benefits such as export facilitations whilst others such as supporting technological innovation may require longer periods to
observe the impact. In addition, the data coming out of such a system can be made accessible to authorised and relevant researchers which would allow for improved evaluation to ensure transparency.”

Development of problem solving capabilities among students

Dr Hafezali, who also suggested more allocation be given to the education sector in the upcoming budget said South Korea’s education system was a good model to follow.

“Malaysia can learn from likes of South Korea which focuses on development of capabilities such as problem solving and critical thinking rather than focusing purely on knowledge.

“This would be in-line with the view that every student is expected to succeed which requires a skillset that is
beneficial for real-world situations. In addition, the focus should be on fostering creativity as well as key competencies in across different disciplines. For example, in Taylor’s the shift has seen the development of the Taylor’s Curriculum Framework which is centred around graduate capabilities (Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities) which focus on various capabilities such as communication skills, global perspectives and entrepreneurialism.

“The education model also needs to empower teachers at all levels to perform in the professional context and not act as an administrator implementing top-down policies. Empowerment will allow adaptive responses as well as effective implementation. Cascading down policy needs to be replaced with more effective communication tools to ensure policy reforms can be successfully implemented.

“Furthermore, a feedback loop mechanism needs to be established in order to ensure practitioners can provide input especially from the operational aspect especially in terms of issues such as lack of facilities or hardware problems at the implementation stage.”