KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — The government needs to examine the effectiveness of all the rural development programmes being implemented to ensure they were relevant and met the needs of the current target group, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Minister of Rural and Regional Development said this was because the population ratio in rural areas had decreased from 70 per cent in the 1960s to 30 per cent today.
“It means there is social vertical mobility and horizontal mobility, where there are relocations, urbanisation, their social status has evolved through education and so should the ministry’s agenda remain static or stagnated over the matter?
“So those who are in the suburbs should be dealt with, those in rural areas should be engaged, because they need communications, infrastructure, TVET, education… we should make all programmes relevant to the tastes of the target group, not to the tastes of the minister, because ministers come and go,” he said during the ‘Ruang Bicara’ programme produced by Bernama TV last night.
Ahmad Zahid also touched on the importance of coordination among the various ministries that implement Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) programmes to avoid duplication and ensure cost-effectiveness.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the TVET Coordinating Committee chairman, said that there were now 11 ministries implementing TVET programmes with the same goal, leading to duplication or overlaps in the programmes offered.
“Is this cost-effective? Let’s get over with the times of blaming the ministry and ministers that came before, we should move forward involving not only TVET but other training as well, on how the social structure and social illnesses involving youth should be overcome.
“This is my agenda as chairman of the Social Committee because as I said it is not just (with regard to) a particular ministry, I look at the totality, in terms of the community as a whole,” he said.