Based on ministry's belief about the significance of constructive dialogue, and benefiting from experiences of those concerned with education and experience of members of the education field of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to contribute in development , progress and decision making, ministry sought to utilize technology to provide opportunity to all for communicating with the ministry and Share in their experience, recommendations, solutions, ideas and complaints through various online channels like forums, blogs, surveys, comments, polls and ratings for services they use.
Ministry sought to moderate participations and review these prior to publishing to assure adherence to state laws in this domain and to raise the level of dialogue to achieve desired goals and reflect the image of participants' education and culture. And guarantee all participants that their freedom to participate, and their opportunity to speak out, and communicate their opinion and complaints to officials, ministry has provided communication channels for people to participate after submission of required personal information and a mode of contact.
Ministry reserves the right not to publish, or to remove participations it deems not complying with its policies or with applied laws of Saudi Arabia without obligations. In no way ministry or any of its employees, staff or representatives is considered accountable before the law for any results of publishing comments or any material through online participation channels.
Policy of e-Participation in Decision Making:
Ministry welcomes experienced individuals and stakeholders to participate and express their opinion in ministry's important decisions and future policies. In doing so, ministry is justifying its role to serve citizens, knowledge and scholars and shaping the policies of education, and knowledge community of Saudi Arabia. ministry recognizes the nature of human work, the possibility of erring and imperfection.
The participation and engagement of experienced individuals and those directly involved in education field gives ministry an opportunity to measure adequacy of its decisions to those affected and provides room for review and modification of policies and removal of any deficiency before adoption and application. Participation facilitates receiving insights of competent people where participation might be inconvenient through traditional channels.
e-Participation in decision-making is considered an extension to traditional participation. Participants utilize modern communication and information technology systems for more convenient communication and engagement. e-Participations adds several advantages that are not easy to get traditionally, like:
- Wide scale participation, and proliferation.
- Transparency and fairness.
- Objectivity and avoidance of the influence of bureaucracy.
- Swiftness in decision, through utilizing e-Participation analysis methods.
Available e-Participation Tools:
Ministry makes available a multitude of e-Tools like comments, ratings, direct communication, blogs, forums, opinion polls, directed questionnaires, complaints and recommendations. Ministry might use all or some of these tools in the participation process as it deems fit for the topic discussion. Participation tools are stated each time a topic is up for discussion.
Policies and Regulations:
Ministry of Education aspires to put up every issue for discussion and consultation that it deems helpful to perform its role in serving citizens and education in the kingdom in general with the participation of experts, stakeholders and those who have direct interest in the topic of discussion.
All citizens and organizations are invited to participate with their visions and expertise where it is of public interest, through all e- Communication channels with the ministry that are available on its e-Portal (comments, ratings, contact-us page, blogs, forums, opinion surveys and questionnaires).
The nature of topics put up for discussion depends on ministry's needs for consultation and participation with expertise and opinions. It also depends on the extent of relation of these topics to the audience and topic's direct impacts on them. The end goals, that are sought after from discussion similarly influence a nature of topic.
Topics will be open for discussion for all to participate and convey their opinions unless ministry sees the necessity to select particular audience for consultation, like, for example, scholarship students, then ministry will use all available e-Channels to target such segment requesting their participation in decision-making.
Ministry pledges to periodically review participations, but at the same time, it is not possible for it to review all participations, hence ministry is not committed to review or reply to all participations. Ministry also reserves, without any liability, the right not to publish, or to remove participations, that it deems contradictory to its policies or prevailing laws in Saudi Arabia.
In no way ministry or its employees, staff or representatives are legally liable for any disputes arising from the publishing of comments or notes in its e-Participation channels.
Engagement and participation in ministry channels for e-Participation constitute tacit approval of ministry's right to use these participations in decision making transactions and drafting of Future policies. Ministry seeks to publish and archive the results of e-Participation transactions but there is no commitment of the ministry to do so.
e-Participation Standard Process:
In general, e-Participation goes through several standard stages in a process that ends with taking decision and application. Ministry may modify, expedite or bypass some stages it deems appropriate for topics discussed.
The stages of the process are:
First - Start of Discussion:
At first ministry publishes on its e-Portal topics it presents to the public requiring their e-Participation in decision-making.
Discussion terms clearly states:
- The topic of discussion, including a preamble and references for the topic, goals of putting if for discussion, timeframe, available tools for participation in discussion, and internal moderatio of the decision-making process in the organization.
- Target audience of the participation.
- Elaboration of the significance and Role of the target audience in the decision and the extent their interests are affected by the topic.
- Laws and regulations of e-Participation in decision-making.
Second - Publishing:
Ministry of Education announces the topics on its e-Portal and invites the public for their participation. Publishing takes place on the e-Portal, additional publishing modes like Newspapers are used if the nature of topics calls for broader participation and the ministry deems fit its use. After publishing, tools of e-Participation will be opened for target audience to send in their opinion and insights.
Third - Collection of Participations:
After opening and moderation of e-Participation, channels which confirm the e-Participation policy the ministry will collect and classify participations. In this stage, ministry also communicates where possible and responds to participations, that requires clarification and assistance of the ministry.
Fourth - Analysis of Participations:
After the set timeframe for participation ends, and participations get collected, ministry concludes the topic participation, and after classification and analysis of participations, the appropriate entries are used in decision-making and policy drafting.
Fifth - Decision Making and Announcement:
After the analysis stage, the ministry reviews participations, takes decision and prepares response for the e-Participation. Afterwards it announces the response and the decision through the e-Portal and other appropriate media channels.
Sixth - Discussion Conclusion and Archival:
After the decision announcement stage, the discussion topic considered to be officially closed and all e-Participation documents, participations and transactions are archived. A full report on the participation and its stages are also prepared and archived. This report contains, for example, but not limited to the following:
- Review and assessment of the primary situation and justification for the need of e-Participation.
- Discussion of opening documents.
- Ministry related communications in the participations collection stage.
- Detailed analysis of the participation process.
- Decisions and policies taken as a result from the participation process and the methodology and justifications considered for its development and adoption.
- Participation challenges, and obstacles report, which includes recommendations for future work.