Cabinet advises formation of ‘National Institute of Education’

Cabinet ministers advised the President yesterday to create a ‘National Institute of Education’ following deliberations on a proposal by the Ministry of Education.

According to the President’s Office, during discussions on a paper submitted by the Education Ministry to the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, ministers noted “the importance of shifting governmental focus to strengthening state efforts, provided the recent expansion of the education sector.”

Ministers also stressed the need for human resource development and providing more opportunities for higher education.

“Some members drew on the stark parallels between the chief functions of Educational Development Centre (EDC) and Centre for Continuing Education (CCE), being run under the supervision of Ministry of Education. Hence, it was strongly favored that the integration of these two separate institutions to form ‘National Institute for Education’, would ultimately lead to greater progress being achieved in the education sector,” reads a press briefing by the President’s Office.

According to the President’s office, the recommendation followed intense discussion over a paper submitted by the Education Minister.

Ministers in the cabinet meeting stated that it was important that more focus be drawn towards the education sector over its expansion over the last few years. Cabinet members also highlighted that more training and higher education was required for human resource development within the education sector.

The President’s Office claimed that the merging of two institutions would mean the facilities used by both institutions and be now utilised more effectively, and would enhance the quality of training offered to teachers and the national curriculum development process.

Commenting on  cabinet’s advice, former Education Minister Musthafa Luthfee raised doubts over cabinet minister’s statement that some of the works carried out by the EDC and CCED were similar.

“How can one say that it is doing similar work? One institution is responsible for development of the national curriculum, doing necessary research and providing resources for teachers, while the other is responsible for providing non-formal education and providing educational opportunities to those adults who have not had the opportunity to study. How can they be considered similar?” Luthfee questioned.

He further stated that forming a bigger institution was not a problem, but said that his fear was that the formation of a larger institute would disrupt the focus and attention needed for curriculum development.

“The biggest challenge to the Maldivian education system is that our curriculum is not as up to date as it should be. It has a lot of problems. A national curriculum is very important for the development of the country,” he said.

Luthfee stated that he was of the view that there should be a separate institution for curriculum development because it required a lot of attention and focus. He also raised doubts over whether the government had the capacity to run such an institution without losing focus on key areas.

“There may be the ease of resource sharing when the two institutions are merged, but if proper focus is not given to certain area, it could have a very negative impact on the country.”

CCED in its website describes itself as a pivotal professional institute under the Ministry of Education, which essentially carries the responsibility for improving the quality of teaching and learning in the Maldives. It promotes community education, enhances life-long learning and conducts adult literacy programs across the nation.

The role of CCED has expanded to include many professional development activities within the education sector.

Strategic changes were embraced within CCED due to the change in government educational policy in 2009. As a result, professional development programs were embedded in its mandate, which restructured the institution to facilitate the new demands of the education sector. The restructure of the centre led to the formation of units, sections and divisions with specific responsibilities for each.


4 thoughts on “Cabinet advises formation of ‘National Institute of Education’”

  1. I'm not convinced either way, whether this is move is good or bad. The justification given for the merger does not sound valid and what Dr Luthfee says makes sense to some extent but given that not much information is given here, I am only hoping that the policy makers know what they are doing and that this is not another stupid move just for the sake of doing something and to create a political position for someone and waste our resources for party favours.

  2. The education system needs a total overhaul..its presently in a mess, disorganized with no specific agenda that will improve the present standard.

    Parents are spending millions in getting their kids to school little do they know that, after grade 10, over 90% of them will end up no where except on streets or in marriage. 'Classroom' education has totally failed. Look at the quality of teachers and prevailing discipline.

    It scares me to see the thousands of students in male, well groomed in uniforms, over weight school bags as parents pretend to care by picking them up, knowing very well there are NO jobs for them tomorrow.

    The government should put more attention on vocational training, skilled work which will give these kids an opportunity to use whatever little skill they have to do something creative. Out of 8000 students who sit for 'O' levels. less than 500 end up in proper Advanced school. 'A' levels? its a joke...99% students take science, a handful do economics and none with History, Geography, literature, etc.

    A boy who can use his hands to be a carpenter or a mason is a million times better than those who walk out of Male colleges. Maldives does not have white color jobs...just give it a thought and tell me what will happen to the 50,000 youth who have no skill or ability to even use common sense????

  3. Yes, Dr Musthafa Luthfy is right, the primary function of the CCE (formerly the Non Formal Education Centre and before that the Non Formal education Unit) WAS the education of OUT OF SCHOOL children, youth and adults.

    But it appears that Dr Luthfy has forgotten that when he was Minister of Education he decided that the CCE should become the centre for the professional development of teachers. I am sure we can forgive Dr Luthfy, he does happen to have short term memory loss over many things.

    The functions of the CCE and EDC and the Quality functions of the MOE (which had different names through the years, but primarily the same functions) have shifted and changed and overlapped frequesntly with consecutive Ministers of Education cutting and pasting the mandates of the various departments of MOE as their respective political targets and realities demanded.

    Just to mention a few of these developments, Dr Shaugee transferred Early Childhood Care and Education policy and programme management to EDC along with key staff , leaving the training of ECCE teachers with CCE. Zahiya Zareer decided CCE should develop the curriculum, manage, monitor and evaluate vocational education IN schools, and take on remedial education of school children who were not performing well in Male’ schools ( incidentally this happened just before a Presidential election). Somewhere through these years the functions of the MOE for extracurricular activities, including inter-school competitions, national and international was transferred to EDC along with Special Needs Education. Dr Musthafa decided that CCE should take on professional development of teachers, and the leadership of schools. Shifa decided that the Quality Assurance Section of the MOE will take over some school functions of EDC.

    We used to say that whatever anyone else could not do or did not want to do land in the CCE. Perhaps it was just as well that happened. Because it was the Centre For Continuing Education that has been carrying the torch for the MOE over these years making a difference in the communities wherever support was needed, and gaps showed up, doing ground breaking pioneer work in educational development , school equivalency for out of school youth and adults, English for adults, early childhood education and care, population education, distance education, community education, vocational education, the transfer of information technology to schools, in-service education of teachers in information technology and the professional and leadership development of teachers to mention some.

    So, I for one am very happy to see this development. I see CCE has been given the recognition they deserve and the profile they should have for the work they are doing. The staff and leadership of CCE especially Adam Shareef deserve credit for the journey the CCE has taken to become an Institute of Education. Well done guys.

  4. Please stop introducing any more institution and offices. We are in deep shit and expenses are higher than income.

    We need to find ways to reduce the expenses even by reducing unwanted employees in Government and improve the performance of the people and reduce the numbers .


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