The inaugural Educational Publishers Forum (EPF) Malaysia took place on 9 August under the banner Global Textbook Trends 2022: Insights For Governments And Publishers. The 7-hour online forum, organised by the Malaysian Book Publishers Association (MABOPA), featured 24 speakers from 12 countries and was a resounding success attracting over 200 attendees including a large number of people from the Malaysian ministry of education. IPA was an event partner.
Chair of EPF Malaysia Siva Sothinathon opened the session, highlighting the role of educational publishers in helping improve learning outcomes for students, in collaboration with governments and other key stakeholders.
MABOPA President Arief Hakim Sani also gave a welcome statement: ‘This is a time when educational publishing faces significant challenges. As such, it is all the more important that we re-double our efforts. This forum symbolises our continued investment in digital transformation and capacity building in our industry’.
The first part of the program offered insights from key stakeholders in the Malaysian education system – the Ministry of Education, students, teachers and parents.
The second part of the program featured sessions on artificial intelligence in education, e-learning and mental health, and developing digital content.
Both IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi and IPA Secretary General José Borghino spoke at the forum, shining a light on the importance of government policies on educational publishing.
IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi stressed that: ‘We rely on governments to create healthy, open and competitive marketplaces. We also rely on governments to build the right frameworks and enforcement mechanisms to respect copyright and freedom to publish, to ensure continuous investment and a sustainable business environment for publishers’.
IPA Secretary-General José Borghino gave a presentation on textbook policy models and educational publishing’s impact on global student ranking. In this session, José spoke about the factors which affect the ability of educational publishers to implement curricula in ways that lead to better learning outcomes, emphasising the importance of choice, local solutions and collaboration.
These lessons were explored in four regional case studies — Korea, Singapore, Finland and Estonia. Guest speakers from each country shared insights and experiences on textbook usage, digitisation and the market dynamics between the state and educational publishers.
A key takeaway from the forum was that in terms of learning outcomes, it does not matter whether students use hardcopy or digital books. The most important thing is quality content. To achieve quality content, governments must collaborate with publishers, and all stakeholders must be actively engaged in the digital transition.
After the event Arief Hakim Sani Said: We believe this event will leave a lasting positive impact on the education ecosystem of Malaysia. MABOPA will continue disseminating the knowledge acquired from the event via various channels, so that we can maximize its impact.