Also last seminar presentation (governance, NPM)
Compare Public Management Reform in the UK with Singapore. What does the comparison tell you about the factors that shape public management in each country? Introduction
Governments around the world are moving from outmoded tradition towards managerial modernity in attempt to get their public sector organisations to run better. A key issue on a countries public agenda in society is education to ensure sufficient knowledge is attained for their citizens, more specifically, the next generation. The emphasis on education is evident because it provides greater opportunity for individuals to develop to their full potential so they can contribute to society which in result, will help increase the competitiveness of their economy. In some terms it is seen as an investment, whereby, the performance outcomes will be seen in the future. This essay will involve a comparative analysis of the Education reforms in Singapore and the UK with the introduction of ‘independent’ and ‘autonomous’ schools and the 1988 Education Act concentrating on ‘the national curriculum’ and ‘local management of schools’ respectively. The main objective of distinguishing factors that help to shape public management in each country and examine the extent to how countries learn from each other about the nature of change and reform. Context
The UK and Singapore are both leaders in the education rankings as a result of their reforms but they have both been achieved in terms of different historical, political, economical and cultural contexts. Britain has a past of being a dominant force in the world with the legacy of the British Empire, whilst ironically; Singapore is an Ex- British colony that is fairly new considering they only gained their independence in 1965. Singapore is a multicultural state where they have developed a nationalist ideology consisting of neo-liberal market values mainly initiated because they lacked any real natural resources except for their people. There is scepticism to whether ‘democracy’ exists as the People’s Action Party (PAP) has dominated the political and administrative system since the internal government’s existence in 1959; therefore, their regime is more along the lines of a Hybrid. Despite their sheer dominance, the PAP have played a decisive role in transforming Singapore into a small economic powerhouse where they are amongst the highest GNP per capita in the world. This has resulted in a high level of legitimacy within the country where citizens place a lot of trust within the government. Lee Kuan Yew was an influential leader who played a significant part in the transition turning them into a stable state with rapid industrialization and modernisation. As they had little natural resources, these programmes where key to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) which is now in excess of $40 Billion. Another incentive for Foreign Investors to retain their investment is Singapore is considered the most business friendly environment with minimal corruption, which is not bad considering they had once inherited a corrupt colonial bureaucracy that wasn’t concerned with national development. Within the PAP’s ideology, they have promoted a culture based on certain principles commonly referred to as Asian values. These include respect for authority, nation before community, and consensus rather than contention. As Singapore had minimal natural resources, education has been used to preserve racial and social harmony whilst investing in the only effective resource it had, people. This has enabled them to cope with the demands of social and economical developments. Education has always been a priority of the PAP where as a result, a lot of pressure is placed on children to perform well, whereby, the majority of them are exposed to tuition at a...