Community e-Participation Policies
The e-Portal of the Ministry of Education allows community e-Participation using the Ministry's e-Means and methods, including blogs, surveys, polls, received complaints, suggestions, comments, and ratings of the Ministry's services and topics. The Ministry recognizes the importance of interactive communication and constructive dialogue and desires to benefit from the experience of competent expert educators in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In compliance with the relevant official laws and regulations, the Ministry oversees, moderates, and reviews the participation before publishing them. Moreover, the Ministry strives to improve the quality of dialogue. Meanwhile, the Ministry guarantees full freedom of participation and speech and provides the opportunity for all participants to voice their concerns and report them to officials. Accordingly, the Ministry has offered open communication for participants who shall first submit their personal information and their preferred mode of contact. However, the Ministry shall have the full right to publish or decline to publish whatever it deems contradictory with its policies or with the laws applicable in Saudi Arabia regarding interactive communication and participation via official websites. Furthermore, the Ministry, its staff, or its representatives are in no way accountable for any comments or materials submitted through its e-Participation channels.
E-Participation Policy in Decision Making
The Ministry provides e-Service for participation in the decision-making process via community e-Participation using the Ministry's e-Portal. The Ministry shows an eagerness to serve the citizens, scientists, and scholars who are chartering the education policy and creating a knowledge-based society in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Assuming that "error is always possible," the Ministry provides stakeholders with the opportunity to measure its decisions and determine the extent to which they are appropriate. Additionally, the Ministry reviews its policies and corrects them if there are shortcomings before they are approved.
The Ministry has taken advantage of modern methods and state-of-the-art technologies and enabled users to benefit from such methods, which are characterized by the following:
• Participation on a much broader scale
• Fairness and transparency
• Objectivity and zero bureaucratic influence
• Swiftness in decision-making by using the e-Participation analysis methods
Available E-Participation Tools
The Ministry uses all community e-participation tools like comments, ratings, direct contacts, blogs, forums, opinion polls, directed and guided questionnaires, complaints, and recommendations. The scope of participation may be expanded to come in line with the topic's nature under discussion. Most of these tools in the e-Participation may be used in the decision-making process as it deems fit for the topic being discussed.
Policies, Laws, and Regulations
The Ministry of Education benefits from whatever helps it assume its role in serving citizens and education in the Kingdom. Discussions with experts and stakeholders and citizens are invited to provide opinions, insight, and suggestions. Citizens and concerned stakeholders may use the means of community e-Participation available on the Ministry's e-Portal (including comments, ratings, contact-us page, blogs, forums, opinion surveys, and guided questionnaires).
In general, the nature of topics brought under discussion depends on the Ministry's need for consultation and participation. It also depends on the relevance of these topics to the audience and its direct influence on them. Such topics depend, as well, on the targeted objectives to be driven out of the discussion. Topics will be open for discussion by all individuals who can participate and voice opinions unless the Ministry deems it necessary to specify a particular audience category for seeking consultation from them. (Such audience category includes students on scholarship).
The Ministry pledges to review participation periodically. However, the Ministry shall not be obliged to review or respond to all participants because of redundancy and repetition. Further, the Ministry reserves the right not to publish the content that does not comply with its policies or is not conformant with the prevailing laws in Saudi Arabia without any liability.
In no way shall the Ministry, its employees, staff, or representatives be held legally liable for whatever issue arises from the publication of comments or notes in its e-Participation channels. Interaction and participation through the Ministry's community e-Participation channels shall entail implicit consent as to the Ministry's right to use the participation in the decision-making process and chartering of future policies. The Ministry pledges to publish and archive the results of e-Participation transactions, but this shall never constitute any absolute obligation on the Ministry's part.
Phases of e-Participation in the Decision-Making Process
The approach of e-Participation in the decision-making process undergoes several standard stages until the decision takes its final shape. The Ministry shall have the right to modify, expedite, or bypass some stages, as it deems appropriate for discussing the topics.
Below are the stages of the process:
First – Proceeding with Discussion:
The Ministry publishes the topics to the audience seeking their e-Participation in the decision-making process. The Ministry submits requests for e-Participation in the decision-making process via its e-Portal, including the following:
• Participation topic including a definition of the topic, objectives of discussion, the duration for e-Participation, the available e-Participation tools, and the information of the internal party in charge of the decision-making process
• Target audience of the e-Participation in the decision-making process
• Description of the significance and the target audience in the decision-making process and the impact on their interests
• Laws and regulations of e-Participation in decision-making
The Ministry of Education publishes the topics on its e-Portal and invites the public for community e-Participation. The Ministry may deem it appropriate to use additional publication outlets and means according to the nature of topics under discussion, such as the journalism and press.
Third – Collection of e-Participation:
After opening the moderation and management of available e-Participation channels, the Ministry will collect and classify participation. In this stage, the Ministry also communicates if possible and responds to participants that require clarification and assistance.
Fourth – Analysis of Participations:
After the participation timeframe ends and gets collected, the Ministry closes the door and concludes the topic-related participation. After classifying and analyzing the participation, the appropriate entries are used during this phase in decision-making and policy drafting.
Fifth - Decision Making and Announcement:
Following the participation analysis stage, the Ministry reviews participation, takes action and prepares suitable responses to all or some of the decision-making e-Participation. Afterward, the Ministry announces the response and the decision made through the e-Portal and other media channels as deemed appropriate.
Sixth – Concluding and Archiving the Discussion:
After announcing the decision, the discussion topic will be considered officially closed, and all documents about e-Participation in the decision-making process will be archived. Additionally, a full report on the participation stages will be prepared and archived. Such report shall cover the following:
• Review and assessment of the initial situation and justification of the need for the e-Participation in the decision-making process
• Discussion documents
• Ministry-related communications in the e-Participation collection stage
• Detailed analytic statistics of the e-Participation process
• Decisions and policies taken based on the result of the e-Participation process, mechanism, methodology, and justifications considered for its development and adoption
• A report on the achievements, challenges, and obstacles encountered during the e-Participation process
• Recommendations for future work