The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) held the 39th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting from 15 to 17 November 2016 at Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand that brought together education vice ministers, permanent secretaries, director generals and other high-level education officials of the SEAMEO Member Countries to discuss important issues on education based on SEAMEO’s 7 Priority Areas: (1) Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE); (2) Addressing barriers to inclusion; (3) Resiliency in the face of emergencies; (4) Promoting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); (5) Revitalizing Teacher Education; (6) Promoting harmonization in Higher Education and Research; and (7) Adopting a 21st Century Curriculum.
Opening Ceremony, Special and Plenary Sessions
A total of 114 participants representing 11 SEAMEO Member Countries, one Associate Member, four Affiliate Members, 21 SEAMEO Regional Centres/Network, and 5 development partners participated in the meeting. His Excellency General Dapong Ratanasuwan, SEAMEO Council President and Minister of Education of Thailand graced the opening ceremony of the plenary session on 16 November 2016. His Excellency presented the plaque of recognition to Ms Lee Saw Im from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Bintang Utara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as this year’s winner in the Search for the Regional Best Science TeacherAward. This award is a biennial event conducted by SEAMEO QITEP in Science based in Bandung, Indonesia.
The High Officials Meeting is an annual event of SEAMEO that serves as forum for discussion of priority issues on education in Southeast Asia. Education leaders also deliberate on plans and accomplishments in education cooperation in the region. The result of the 39th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting will be submitted to the SEAMEO Council for approval, the highest governing body of SEAMEO and consists of the education ministers of the 11 Member Countries of Southeast Asia. The next SEAMEO Council President will be the Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia and thus the next meeting of the SEAMEO education ministers dubbed as the 49th SEAMEO Council Conference will be held in East Java in July 2017 hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia.