The Ministry of Education (MOE) has increasingly involved in the nation’s efforts to internationalize education by establishing closer bilateral relations with other countries in the field of education.
To assist the Ministry in enhancing Malaysia’s image in international and regional organizations, the Policy and International Relations Division (PIRD) was set up following Malaysia’s entry into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1958 and the establishment of the Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO (MNCU) in 1966. The office of the Malaysian Permanent Delegate to UNESCO was established in Paris, France in 1966, to further strengthen Malaysia’s participation in UNESCO. In 2008, the name of IRD was later changed to Policy and International Relations Division (PIRD) following a re-structuring of the Ministry’s, organizational structure.
With the establishment of MNCU and the office of the Malaysian Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Malaysia’s participation in other international and regional organizations such as the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the South East Asian Ministers Of Education Organization (SEAMEO), the Association Of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) grew further and the responsibilities and functions of the PIRD were subsequently expanded. Efforts were also initiated by the PIRD to ensure that Malaysia continued to exert its presence in these international organizations and to ensure that she received the maximum benefits from her membership in these organizations. The PIRD’s mission is to safeguard and strengthen Malaysia’s interest and image in the international arena of education, In addition, it also manages Malaysia’s :
- Bilateral relations in the field of education
- Multilateral relations in regional and international organizations
- Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris
- National Commission for UNESCO (NatCom)
- Focal points for other international and regional education related organizations.