IPA’s Malaysian member, the Malaysian Book Publishers Association (MABOPA), invited IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi and Secretary General José Borghino to speak at a recent event called the Kuala Lumpur World Publishers Dialogue, which took place on 18 March.
Al Qasimi spoke about ‘World Publishing Prospects & Challenges in 2021’, On the theme of ‘World Publishing Prospects & Challenges in 2021’, Bodour stressed reading culture's dual importance for national development and for the publishing industry’s health. The IPA’s November 2020 Response to Recovery report had found that markets with developed reading cultures, and those that were digitally ready, had weathered the COVID-19 storm more successfully than markets with little or no reading culture and nascent digital infrastructure.
Bodour added that the IPA was ready to assist its members in closing the knowledge gaps around digital transformation and future proofing publishing business models through the International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience (InSPIRe) plan, and by curating online training resources in the IPA Academy. Both of these initiatives are in the pipeline for 2021.
Borghino’s topic was ‘Educational Publishing's Impact on Global Student Ranking’. He argued that, when measuring results using the OECD’s PISA scores, the national educational systems with the best outcomes are located in countries with the most open, competitive markets for educational resources, where teachers can choose from a wide variety of offerings from educational publishers; and that the worst outcomes are located in countries with high levels of government control or nationalized educational publishing sectors.
There are obviously many factors that affect educational outcomes but the availability of high-quality resources produced by professional educational publishers is clearly very important. The IPA’s Educational Publishers Forum stands ready to join with MABOPA to advocate for improving educational outcomes in Malaysia and elsewhere.