A promising start for Saudi Vision 2030
In order to transform into a modern state, it is crucial that we build effective citizenship
Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet reshuffle and the restructuring of ministries is the beginning of the implementation of the promising transformation plan. Some of the obvious challenges that the new ministries will address include enhancing the performance of the government to ensure efficiency and productivity, injecting new blood into government departments to stimulate change and introducing new cultural and social programs to build citizenship and influence a more moderate and progressive society.
The whole nation is waiting in anticipation for the implementation of these changes. Addressing them will certainly eliminate many of the obstacles that have delayed the progress of this country. However, the way that these changes are implemented will determine whether they will be effective or will be another failed attempt at reform.
In order to enhance the performance of government departments, the old centralized system should be replaced with a management that delegates work to qualified and efficient personnel. There should be real checks and mechanisms in place to ensure that there is no favoritism or nepotism and that only the qualified will be employed. All ministries are expected to develop a system that can provide opportunities for all members of society regardless of any cultural or social backgrounds, incorporating all factions of society in nation building.
The decision to inject new blood into the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance and the Ministry of Education is quite significant.
Quality of education
The Ministry of Education is responsible for upgrading the curriculum and enhancing the quality of education. It must have progressive decision makers and sincere academics to introduce effective programs and meaningful changes. Our youth need better qualifications to find employment and to serve the nation. The new officials must not let them down. The Vision 2030 will never succeed without constructive reforms in the Ministry of Education.
In order to transform into a modern state, it is crucial that we build effective citizenship. Decision makers must honor the rights of all citizens.Samar Fatany
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance is responsible for addressing the dominant mistakes in religious discourse. Recognizing the four schools of thought and engaging the services of moderate scholars and imams can certainly produce effective change. It is time they focus on the true Islamic values to combat corruption and build a culture of consciousness and work ethics.
The decision in April, 2016 to curb the authority of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) is a step in the right direction. The new law stipulates that police officers will have the authority to enforce the previous social restrictions which include the segregation of the sexes, a ban on women driving and the implementation of the guardianship law. It is no good replacing one authority with another.
Let us hope that the new Commission for Recreation and Culture can bring more joy to Saudi families and allow women and children to feel safe and comfortable during family outings and entertainment activities.
In order to transform into a modern state, it is crucial that we build effective citizenship. Decision makers must honor the rights of all citizens. The new Ministry of Labor and Social Development is expected to address the pressing issues of unemployment and low wages. The average citizen who is struggling to provide a decent life for his family needs immediate attention.
These are just a few reminders for our new ministers and government officials to consider while they outline the mechanisms for the transformation plan.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on May 14, 2016.
Samar Fatany is a Chief Broadcaster in the English section at Jeddah Broadcasting Station. Over the past 28 years, she has introduced many news, cultural, and religious programs and has conducted several interviews with official delegations and prominent political personalities visiting the kingdom. Fatany has made significant contributions in the fields of public relations and social awareness in Saudi Arabia and has been involved in activities aiming at fighting extremism and enhancing women’s role in serving society. She has published three books: “Saudi Perceptions & Western Misconceptions,” “Saudi Women towards a new era” and “Saudi Challenges & Reforms.”