|Post-2015 education agenda in Southeast Asia tackled, three new collaborative projects endorsed
Vice ministers, permanent secretaries and high-level education officials from the Southeast Asian countries met on 18-20 February 2014 at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand for the 36th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting which discussed, among others, the ongoing development of education agenda in Southeast Asia after 2015 which marks the conclusion of the Education for All movement which has been the flagship education agenda globally for the past three decades. The SEAMEO High Officials Meeting also endorsed three projects which focus on Southeast Asia on the themes of pre-primary teacher development, intercultural dialogues, and learning metrics which were proposed by UNESCO and UNICEF to be implemented collaboratively with SEAMEO. The 36th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting also announced plans for the conduct of SEAMEO Congress in October 2014 and the commemoration of the organization’s 50th anniversary in March 2015.
In a bid to trigger discussions on post-2015 education agenda in Southeast Asia, SEAMEO works with various organizations beginning December 2013 to June 2014 in the conduct of a foresight study applying futuristic methodology to build preferable depiction of the Post-2015 education in Southeast Asia. The seven-month project involves SEAMEO’s key partners including the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) Thailand, Burapha University Thailand, the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) through MEXT Japan, and the Thailand-United States Education Foundation (Fulbright Thailand). UNESCO and UNICEF are also actively involved in the discussions.
The SEAMEO Secretariat in collaboration with the World Association of Publishers, Manufacturers and Distributors of Educational Materials or WORLDDIDAC; UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, and Reed Tradex jointly organized the 5th Asia Education Leaders Forum and WorldDIDAC Asia Exhibition on 9-11 October 2013 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand.
SEAMEO played a key role as co-organizer of the 6th China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week together with the ASEAN-China Centre and the Guizhou Provincial Department of Education on 16-20 September 2013 in Guiyang, Guizhou, People’s Republic of China with representatives from universities in 10 ASEAN countries and over 70 Chinese universities participating.
The regular meeting of the SEAMEO Executive Committee this year was convened on 30 August 2013 at the SEAMEO Secretariat, Bangkok, Thailand to discuss various organizational concerns and review implementation of existing and new initiatives particularly those that respond to the resolutions of the SEAMEO Council.
The SEAMEO Secretariat promoted classroom research practices among teachers in its two adopted schools in Thailand through a pilot project called “SEAMEO Classroom Research Workshop Series” under its Community Involvement Programme. The initiative was launched in June 2012 and was completed in August 2013 benefiting 24 teachers through five training workshops. The initiative was aimed at assisting teachers in identifying solutions to challenges related to teaching and learning by conducting their own classroom research.
SEAMEO and ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of a general framework for cooperation on the development and promotion of education and culture in Southeast Asia and the People’s Republic of China on 13 August 2013 at the S31 Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.
The MOU identifies collaborative areas that are of common interest to both organizations. It outlines the development and implementation of joint initiatives on education and culture such as knowledge sharing, joint research efforts on education and culture, and co-organization of education expositions, forums, seminars and conferences.
Thailand confirmed its support to the implementation of “SEAMEO College”, a regional platform on innovations in education and human resource development and SEAMEO’s flagship project in a signing ceremony and exchange of notes between Thailand and the Asian Development Bank on 7 August 2013 at the S31 Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.
As SEAMEO Member Country, Thailand serves as host to the SEAMEO College project management office which will be housed at the SEAMEO Secretariat in Bangkok. Thailand will also be the venue of various activities and management meetings under the project.
The annual meeting of the SEAMEO Regional Centre Directors this year was held on 1-3 July 2013 at the Marriot Hotel Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand and focused mainly on actions needed to follow-up on resolutions of SEAMEO Education Ministers during the 47th SEAMEO Council Conference in March 2013, as well as reporting on progress of major initiatives under the SEAMEO Strategic Plan 2011-2020. The Meeting was organized by the SEAMEO Secretariat and was attended by 90 participants including the directors and key staff of SEAMEO Centres and the Secretariat, representatives of Associate and Affiliate Members, and invited partners.
The SEAMEO Secretariat and ASEAN Secretariat convened the Third SEAMEO-ASEAN Secretariats Coordination Meeting on 24 June 2013 at the ASEAN Headquarters, Jakarta, Indonesia. The annual meeting is part of the SEAMEO and ASEAN mechanisms to coordinate and synergize efforts to address and pursue shared regional goals and priorities on education.