Ministers of Education from SEAMEO Member Countries Meet in Bandung for 2nd Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (SDEM)

BANDUNG--On April 28, 2016, Ministers of Education representing the 11 SEAMEO Member Countries met in Bandung, Indonesia for the Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers (SDEM).

The meeting, which was the second of its kind to be held within the last two years, provided the ministers an opportunity to collectively reflect on current education, science, and culture issues in Southeast Asia, review current and emerging education concerns and provide a starting point for regional and cross-country collaborative interventions to address shared or unique educational development concerns.

During the one-day dialogue, the ministers engaged in four roundtable discussions. They shared progress and challenges in implementing educational policies that reflect SEAMEO Seven Educational Priority Areas adopted in 2015, as well as the United Nation’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

As a result of the productive dialogues and knowledge sharing between the ministers, a joint statement was produced. The statement not only emphasised their continued commitment to SEAMEO Seven Priority Areas and educational development, but also identified key points, such as the need for countries to move beyond national boundaries and working together; the importance of introducing innovative learning content and curricula; the enhancement of fundamental skills such as literacy, numeracy, values as well as social and emotional skill; and the encouragement of public engagement in educational development.

Another result of the dialogues was the Bandung Action Agenda. This is currently being finalised by SEAMEO Regional Centre Directors.