Why not adopt pretty good example?
Students to learn from book Korea: Through the Thorns to the Stars at Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus
By Yekaterina Medvedskaya
A fourth-year student of the Academy of Public Administration, Yelena Kovalenko, is impressed by what she has learnt from the book. She explains, “The most surprising fact is that the success of South Korea has come not from natural resources or a good geographical position but from the system of government administration: the human factor, education and discipline…”
Ms. Kovalenko was lucky enough to be chosen to read the Korean edition. Next year, Academy staff will be given the book as standard reading. “We’ll include the edition in the curriculum,” notes the Rector of the Academy, Anatoly Morozevich. Although Belarus and Korea are far away from each other, they share many features. Neither is rich in natural resources and both governments take an active role in economic management. According to Mr. Morozevich, the experience of the Korean state deserves special attention, since it has grown from having a GDP similar to that of an underdeveloped African country to having the 13th largest economy in the world — all within 60 years.
Korea: Through the Thorns to the Stars was initially published in English, with a Russian variant appearing last year as a result of co-operation between the Academy of Public Administration and the Korea Institute of Public Administration. Specialists from the Centre for International Co-operation and Educational Programmes (of the Academy of Public Administration) translated the work under the editorship of Pro-rector on Scientific Work and Doctor of Physico-Mathematical Sciences, Professor I. Gancherenok.
The articles of the book are authored by both Korean and foreign scientists. According to the Head of the Korea Institute of Public Administration, Bak Yung-gyeok, this gives a more unbiased view regarding the achievements of the country.
Bak Yung-gyeok tells us that Korea has no desire to monopolise other countries and is happy to shares its secrets of success. “We have experience of being in a crisis situation,” he admits. “More developed countries supported us at that time.”
The Head of the Korean Institute views co-operation in the educational sphere as especially important. “Successful practice can be ensured only by good theory,” he emphasises. “New knowledge is especially necessary for future management staff, as the development of the state depends on their scholarship. Experience can be used to avoid strategic mistakes.”
Joint projects for Belarusian and Korean institutions are underway, with staff from the Academy of Public Administration regularly training in Korea and Korean specialists often delivering lectures in Belarus. The Koreans are also interested in the Belarusian model of education, admiring its level. It’s no wonder that the Russian version of Korea: Through the Thorns to the Stars was prepared by Belarusian colleagues.
According to the Academy of Public Administration’s Prof. Igor Gancherenok, his educational institution is keen to promote international liaisons, utilising the successful experience of other countries. The Academy has 45 agreements with foreign institutions, with greatest emphasis on co-operation with Russian, Kazakh, German and Chinese partners.
Work with Korea has its own place. “Korea has passed through the same stages of development which are now passed by us,” Mr. Gancherenok mentions. “We are on the same course but, truthfully, we don’t have time for procrastination. We need to adopt the successful experience of other countries via diplomacy and international co-operation.” Korea is a world leader in electronic government, which makes state procedures more transparent; the possibilities for accessing information are almost without bounds due to this model of interaction between authorities and society. People’s trust in the government is exceptionally high.
The Electronic Government Master’s degree education programme is being introduced at the Academy of Public Administration next year as a result of implementation of the EGOPRISE international project, performed jointly with partners from seven EU countries. In future, Belarus plans to set up an international centre (involving experts from Korea and Western Europe) to train specialists in the sphere of providing electronic services (including for the Central Asian states).