Tuesday , October 23 2018

The unaccessible minister

Intisaar Al-Ma’touq
Intisaar Al-Ma’touq

recently sent a message on the Twitter account of Ministry of Education and Higher Education, asking for an appointment to meet the minister Dr Bader Al-Essa. I wanted to present some useful ideas and suggestions directly to the minister, his deputy or any other responsible official.

I used to be a teacher of the secondary stage and I was nominated for the Hamad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Award for the Distinguished Teacher even before I completed the first five years of my career in teaching. In addition, I am considered as a motivating and creative teacher.

I was quite serious about presenting my ideas and suggestions in order to help in pushing forward the cart of Ministry of Education which is currently on unsteady wooden wheels. I had hoped that my ideas will help initiate a wonderful start for developing the society and pushing it forward.

I expected to receive many enquiries about the core of the topic that I had intended to present. Instead, I did not receive a response. I took it lightly, thinking the account of Ministry of Education and its minister might be receiving several messages on a daily basis. However, I wondered for how long I had to wait. I then realized that we need to pass many tunnels before managing to reach the office of the minister.

In developed countries which are rich in patriotic and moral intelligence, ministers and senior officials are not seated on top of mountains where no citizen can reach.

In Al-Sharq newspaper, Abdulrahman Al-Shuaib had written an article on the qualities of a successful minister which are as follows:-

* A minister has to have a long career in the public sector so that he has good knowledge about its various aspects and is able to distinguish between what is possible and what is impossible.

* A minister must be intuitive and people-loving.

In this regard, Al-Shuaib explained that he has a friend who used to be an economic expert and is now a minister. That friend of his had once said, “A minister can never achieve any success unless he is a people-loving person”. In other words, a minister has to work in the interest of the citizens and always put himself in their shoes to understand their situations.

* A minister should be humble and respect his employees. Pride is the enemy of creation. It traps a minister in an ivory tower that is not relevant to those who carry the responsibilities of the masses.

* A minister has to listen carefully to every opinion, even the negative ones. He has to avoid using phrases such as, “This person does not know anything”.

As per Abdulrahman Al-Shuaib’s viewpoint, the above mentioned are the qualities of a good minister. From my perspective, I would not add any more to this. I just want to tell the minister that – Dear minister, open the door and windows of your office and take a look outside. You will see some who would like to present ideas and flowers to you. Give the position its literal meaning.

The word ‘minister’ in Arabic is “Wazeer” which means supporter or helper. A minister means wisdom, experience, understanding, humbleness and patience. A minister represents an open horizon that is wide enough to welcome every good idea and unique initiative that could be considered as strange or even a letdown, while an expert will discover that it is the starting point towards the top.


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