Letter: Commonwealth funds

December 15, 2000

Readers may draw the wrong conclusions from your report on the continued funding of the Commonwealth of Learning owing to how you juxtaposed our written reports, oral presentation and ministerial remarks at the 14th triennial Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers ("Singapore fails to stump up promised cash", THES, December 1).

You imply that Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have not fulfilled funding commitments. Funding by Commonwealth governments is on a voluntary basis. While these governments have been part of the consensus that approved a three-tiered funding structure, the structure is only a guideline members are not obliged to follow; consequently the question of unfulfilled promises does not arise.

Owing to the nature of pledging sessions at ministerial meetings, the fact that a government did not speak is not an indicator of lack of support. In fact, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have since indicated they will provide financial support.

Dato' Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan President and CEO, Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver

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