Bandar Seri Begawan - The next Excellent Village Award (AKC) for period 2012- 2013 will see an increase in the number of evaluation components and will also see more special awards criteria to increase motivation levels and increase the probability of Village Consultative Councils (MPK) to gain the Gold or Silver awards, which have not been attained by any MPK ever since the award's inception in 2005 as a pilot project in the Temburong District.
Fifty-four villages participated in the 2nd AKC scheme this year with 18 of them qualifying for the national level. The first Bronze category was honoured to Kampong Sungai Matan while the Second Bronze award was honoured to Kampong Sibut.
One of the brainchild of the AKC, Awg Matusin bin Orang Kaya Sura Hj Tuba, Senior Special Duties Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) told the Borneo Bulletin Sunday in an interview yesterday that the awarding of Gold and Silver categories has to follow strict assessment criterias and candidates must meet their set targets.
He said until now, no MPK has reached the Gold and Silver categories. "If they do meet our set target and criteria we must also assess the appropriateness of the given grades in the context of the village's activities by making balanced judgement to determine their eligibility for the awards," he said.
Some of the factors that contribute to the lack of eligible gold and silver awardees, according to Awg Matusin, are because their endeavours do not satisfy the criteria requirements as a whole. For instance he said for this year, three criteria were set. "If they can only attain a good evaluation in one area and not the others, then it would not be possible to honour them with the highest award," he added.
For this year, he added that participating MPKs evaluations were found to be inconsistent, which lessened their chance to grab the highest awards.
The 2nd AKC's criteria, he said looks at aspects in Administration and Management, Economy and Community Welfare.
He said to reach a Gold category; an MPK must meet all criteria set with excellent evaluation grades. "To achieve this is not very easy and we do not blatantly give the grades."
The first AKC pilot project held in Temburong, he said, housed four different evaluation criterias. While in 2008- 2009, seven criteria were set and it has been brought down to three criteria this year with the aim to scout for potential Gold or Silver award winners although no MPK were eligible.
Shedding some light on the next AKC's awarding scheme mechanics, Awg Matusin said they will increase their evaluation to five criterias for an all-around assessment: Administration & Management, Community Welfare and Religious, Education and Skills, as well as Cleanliness and Beauty.
As planned, he said more awards will be given in the next AKC. "We will have other categories for special criterieas such as innovative products. This is to increase motivation for MPKs and to instil a more competitive environment."
On the next AKC, he said, they also want to focus on the aspects of beauty liveliness and cleanliness to encourage the image of hygiene and cleanliness.
Leadership skills will also be a focal point in their assessment for the next AKC, he said.
With these set criteria, he hoped that villages would have no excuses to not participate in the next AKC. "We want to make it compulsory for all villages to participate."
It is not to be confused, he remarked, between village products and the 'One Village, One Product' initiative because they are entirely two separate things. 'A village product is an existing product that a village currently offers but through the 'One Village, One Product' initiative, it is a proper organisation set-up by the MPK with appointed committee members," he said.
This is where, he said, MPKs should act as the middle-person to help sell products readily available in their villages and help them in research and development.
"A village product can be elevated into the MPKs to give it more exposure and to induce better advancement to make it more marketable," he said.
In this direction, he said MoHA through different agencies will organise campaigns and roadshows throughout all districts by next month to elaborate more details on the next AKC for MPKs.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin