‘Big Results now’ starts with public input
By a correspondent
The fast-track people-centred growth ‘marathon’ has officially begun as 300 local experts who went into seclusion for eight weeks unveiled recommendations recently on the best way the country could implement ‘Big Results’ initiative.
Under the initiative, the government commits to adopt and customise the Malaysian ‘Big Fast results’ known as Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) to design and implement model to suit local operations.
President Jakaya Kikwete said that under the arrangement, there would be no room for the culture of business as usual and needless confidentiality in public offices.
Big Results Now (BRN) initiative aims at adopting new methods of working under specified timeframe for delivery of the step-change required.
Views from the general public would be accommodated for transparency and efficiency. To start with, the government has identified six key priority areas including .agriculture, water, education and resource mobilisation to ensure smooth progress in achieving the Five-Year and Vision 2015.
The country focuses on becoming a middle income economy by 2025. “Development plans are no longer secret matters for the executives, but the public will be involved to learn about the development plans and share their views accordingly.
This will promote consensus on the national priorities,” Mr Kikwete said at the launching of the ‘Open Forum’ to mark the beginning of Big Result Now initiative. Being in seclusion known as ‘labs,’ the experts made critical assessment of each sector focusing on challenges, success and proposed the way forward and the volume of resources required to meet the objectives.
The experts advised on various sectors but highlighting on the education segment, they spoke about the need for the government to increase subsidy and deliberate efforts should be in place to bridge the gap on text books ratio from one book for five pupils to a book to every pupil by 2015.
It was further advised that teachers’ outstanding arrears should be cleared and time spent on ‘chasing’ their demands should be cut off to give them more time in classrooms to improve the pass mark at least to 80 per cent by 2015.
The education sector has been advised to help build capacity among 12,300 Standard One and Two teachers specifically on teaching pupils how to read, write and count. Other 17,000 primary school teachers and 8,000 secondary school teachers should equally be enhanced to assist slow starters (those who grasp concepts gradually during learning process).
As for the energy sector, the experts advised on the need to replace the emergency power units with more reliable production of the existing power plants and for the government to expedite construction of the natural gas pipe from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam.
The experts further advised on the need for completion of 14 power projects to reach out more than five million, with immediate replacement of 3.2 million bulbs with energy server bulbs the initiative which would add by 50 per cent the income of the national power utility (Tanesco).
The Executive Director of the Planning Commission, Dr Philip Mpango thanked the president for the adoption of the system, which at its initial stage has awakened some of the officials who discovered that it was no longer business as usual.
He said the system would allow fair assessment of the degree of delivery among the executives for what they had planned for implementation and if inadequate then the concerned party would be required to take responsibility for the interest of the nation.