Education Key to Nation’s Progress and Growth: Minister Rafizi
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According to the Economy Ministry, education will be essential for developing talent and serving as the cornerstone for the economy’s long-term prosperity. Recognizing that innovation and productivity depend on a trained workforce, its minister Rafizi Ramli emphasized the need of education in fostering talent and providing people with the skills necessary to fulfil the demands of the contemporary economy.

One of the biggest challenges to restructure the economy is precisely the talents.

Every time we talk about programmes, initiatives and structural reforms that we try to implement, there are always sceptics who suggest to forget about it unless you fix the education system,” he said during the public launch of the April 2024 Malaysia Economic Monitor (MEM), titled “Bending Bamboo Shoots: Strengthening Foundational Skills”, yesterday.

According to Rafizi, the nation cannot afford to move forward successively; rather, he supports progress that happens in parallel.

I am a firm believer that one of the most crucial improvements in this country is education, especially given the predicament we are facing. The most effective policy instrument, when executed correctly, to manage everything in this country is actually through education,” he added.

As Malaysia progresses toward achieving high-income status, Rafizi highlighted the looming risk of inequality. He emphasized that, from a policy perspective, if not managed prudently, economic growth may disproportionately benefit a select few, leaving others marginalized.

Yasuhiko Matsuda, the World Bank country manager, also underscored the pivotal role of talent and skills in driving the economy. He emphasized that education is crucial for addressing both Malaysia’s long-term growth challenges and inequality issues. Matsuda emphasized the importance of ensuring that economic growth is inclusive, with opportunities accessible to all segments of society.

He suggested that one effective approach is to provide equal opportunities early in individuals’ lives, enabling those from disadvantaged backgrounds to leverage their talents and efforts to benefit from societal and economic opportunities.

Matsuda further mentioned that the MEM report focuses on the fundamental aspects of Malaysia’s skill and talent agenda, addressing the foundational elements crucial for the country’s development.

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