The Minister of Education Thailand visited 10 SEAMEO Member Countries in his capacity as SEAMEO Council President. During his visits, SEAMEO Council President discussed about how to provide educational exchanges and various initiatives to attain the goal of SEAMEO 7 Priority Areas as well as the establishment of new SEAMEO Centres including Thailand initiative to establish SEAMEO STEM to be propose in 49th SEAMEO Council Conference.
A glance of his journey to 10 SEAMEO Member Countries as follows:
- Malaysia, 10-11 March 2016
H E General Dapong Ratanasuwan, Minister of Education and SEAMEO Council President attended and delivered an Opening Remarks at the 10th Regional Congress on Search for SEAMEO Young Scientists (SSYS). In this occasion, His Excellency also congratulated to all winners and gave an award to the winners of SSYS from several high schools in SEAMEO Member Countries.
- Singapore, 14 March 2016
H E General Dapong Ratanasuwan, Minister of Education delivered an Opening Remarks at the 51st SEAMEO RELC International Conference under the theme “Teaching Literacies – Emerging Pathways and Possibilities in Language Education at SEAMEO RELC, Singapore.
In this connection, His Excellency had a breakfast meeting with H E Mr Ng Chee Meng.
- Indonesia, 27-29 April 2016
H E General Dapong Ratanasuwan attended 2nd SDEM in Bandung and took this opportunity inviting Centre Directors of SEAMEO Regional Centres in Indonesia for a briefing and meeting in the evening of 27 April 2017. The meeting attended by Dr Felicia Nuradi Utorodewo, Centre Director of SEAMEO QITEP in Language; Prof Dr Subanar, Centre Director of SEAMEO QITEP in Mathematics; Prof Dr Triyanta, Centre Director of SEAMEO QITEP in Sciences; Dr Abi Sujak, Centre Director of SEAMEO SEAMOLEC; Dr Agus Haryanto, Officer-in-Charge of SEAMEO RECFON; and Dr Jess Fernandez, Deputy Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP.
- Timor Leste, 23 June 2016
H E General Dapong Ratanasuwan paid a courtesy call on H E Mr Antionio Da Conceição, Coordinating Minister for Social Affairs and Minister of Education, Timor Leste on 23 June 2016. His Excellency mentioned that Thailand will continue their support of education and personnel development, scholarships for students of Timor Leste to study in Thailand, and cooperation in higher education between Thailand and Timor Leste in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks, especially through SEAMEO RIHED, which dedicated to promoting human resource development and the quality of higher education in this region, such as the student mobility and leadership development.
His Excellency visited Ensino Basico Hera School and Acanuno School, which under the project of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
- Brunei Darussalam, 9 February 2017
H E Dr Teerakiat Jareonsettasing paid a courtesy call on H E Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, Minister of Education, Brunei Darussalam on 9 February 2017. His Excellency informed that the Prime Minister of Thailand was interested in Brunei Darussalam’s education development plan. Since Brunei focused on human resource development which was the most important. The two Ministers exchanged the method of teaching and learning in the area of compulsory education, education for disabled and disadvantaged, borrow textbooks, adjustment of attitudes towards education in various areas, and teacher development, etc. In addition, both Ministers agreed that the collaboration under the framework of SEAMEO will lead to the development of sustainable education in the region.
His Excellency visit SEAMEO VOCTECH and listened to the briefing by Ms Hajah Noorzainab Abdulladi, Deputy Director (Administration) and Officer-in-Charge. His Excellency gave comments to the Centre that vocational education is important in driving a human resource development in this region. However, there were many factors that need to be developed such as mind set of learner, parent and teacher to show the importance of education as a tool for living, to inspire learners to achieve lifelong learning.
His Excellency also attended a briefing on Brunei’s educational management and developmental guideline to match the current situation in the world. Brunei has set a vision of 2030 and has begun implementing educational reforms called “SPN21”, which has adapted the teacher development system and emphasize the promotion of vocational students in response to the 21st century skills development, and continuing education of Brunei has consistently developed and periodic review to adapt to the context of the country and respond to the world.
It was a great opportunity that His Excellency also paid a courtesy visit on Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah at the Nurul Iman Palace at 1400 hrs on 9 February 2017.
- Cambodia, 16 February 2017
H E Dr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin paid a courtesy call on H E Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Minsiter of Education, Youth and Sports, Cambodia on 16 February 2017. Both Ministers exchanged views on overall education and the progress of education reform in both countries.
In this occasion, both Ministers signed the MOU on the collaboration between Thailand and Cambodia. The MOU covered the various types of educational cooperation in all levels of education from basic education to technical and vocational education. This is the second MOU of thai-Cambodia Education Working Group to be used as a platform for discussion on activities/projects for the duration of 5 years.
His Excellency also visited Preah Sisowath High School, which is the prototype school for gifted children by focusing on physics, mathematics and social sciences.
- Lao PDR, 27 February 2017
H E Dr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin paid a courtesy call on H E Madam Sengdeuane Lachantha, Minister of Education and Sports, Lao PDR on 27 February 2017. Both Ministers discussed on how to provide educational exchanges, the establishment of SEAMEO Centre for Community Education Development in Lao PDR which will be a major source of learning for SEAMEO Regional network, the sufficiency way of life of Laos teachers, preparation for the PISA test of Lao PDR, etc.
His Excellency also emphasized that the Government of Thailand is ready to cooperate with Thai-Laos Teacher Development Project of English subject by encouraging English teachers from Lao PDR to attend the training course at the Regional English Training Centres in Northeastern of Thailand.
- Vietnam, 6 March 2017
H E Dr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin paid a courtesy visit on H E Prof Dr Phun Xuan Nha, Minister of Education and Training, Vietnam on 6 March 2017. His Excellency appreciated Vietnam’s education which gave a good reputation of this region. His Excellency wished to exchange the education system of Vietnam with Thailand, especially the result of PISA. H E Prof Dr Nha expressed His Excellency appreciated and said that Vietnam has focused on for major areas: 1) teachers development; 2) STEM education; 3) apply the PISA process to evaluate for nationwide; and 4) staff exchange between teacher and school administrators (PLC).
In addition, Vietnam would like Thailand to support the development and cooperation in teaching and learning Vietnamese and Thai languages, as well as scholarships, exchange and develop the STEM education, policy among the institutions in higher education. Both side will have a further discussion during the bilateral meeting to increase, enhance and continue the cooperation.
His Excellency also visited Viet Duc High School, which is one of the oldest high school in Hanoi. The famous leaders of Vietnam graduated from this school. The school has teachers who love to teach and be responsible and encourage students to learn.
In the afternoon, His Excellency went to Ho Chi Minh City to visit SEAMEO RETRAC and SEAMEO CELLL. His Excellency gave a comment to improve the Centres and instructed the Centres to focus on their implementation and support the linking and networking with others; and utilize the existing resources to maximize the Centres’ administration and operation efficiently.
At the end of the visit, His Excellency said that Thailand will establish SEAMEO STEM and will propose to this coming SEAMEO Council Conference.
- Philippines, 19 April 2017
His Excellency visited SEAMEO SEARCA on 19 April 2017 and listened to the briefing by Dr Gil C Saguiguit, Jr, Centre Director of SEAMEO SEARCA. Dr Saguiguit, Jr reported that the Centre focused on 1) graduate in master and doctoral level as well as the agency development, 2) research and development, and 3) knowledge management. SEAMEO SEARCA was conducted researches, seminar and training related to the food safety and nutrition, leadership, scholarship and academic development fund both inside and outside the region with the cooperation among government, private sector, school, community and local. SEAMEO SEARCA has an initiative to establish the Museum of Agriculture (AgriMuseum). This museum will features exhibits for agricultural and community development activities of H M King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
H E Dr Teerakiat visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). IRRI focus on research and development of rice, training on the technology of rice. They have an experimental farms for conducting research with national universities. IRRI also share their best practices with others.
H E paid a courtesy visit on H E Dr Leonor Magtolis Briones, Secretary of Education and said that Thailand is ready and willing to support the Philippines in terms of PISA assessment test as well as exchange the best practices.
In addition, Secretary of Education said that there was many Filipino students are studying in Thailand and they had an excellent results. Philippines aims to provide alternative education so that the people of the country can access the education thoroughly. Philippines also emphasizes the important of using English as a medium of teaching and learning in the country, starting from grade 1.
The main issues of discussion were 1) extension of basic education to 12 years, 2) education to prevent drug addiction, 3) education on HIV Aids prevention and public health, 4) global warming, 5) non formal education, and 6) corruption.
Before the end of mission, His Excellency visited SEAMEO INNOTECH and listened to the briefing about the success of the Centre which focused on technology-based research; training management to promote the potential of administrators, teachers, and educational personnel; quality management, performance framework for school administrators in Southeast Asia. SEAMEO TROPMED/Philippines also took this opportunity to do a briefing on their implementation for tropical medicine and public health, which focuses on the development of individual and institutions by promoting quality health care through training and research training by their expert.
- Myanmar – 28 April 2017
His Excellency paid a courtesy visit on H E Dr Myo Thein Gyi, Minister for Education, Myanmar at the Ministry of Education in the morning of 28 April 2017. H E Dr Myo Thein Gyi welcomed the SEAMEO Council President and delegates and expressed condolences to the death of the late King Rama 9, which was great loss of Thailand. In addition, H E Dr Myo Thein Gyi emphasized on enhancing access to education, quality assurance, alternative education, and the private education law to support the educational mobility. Myanmar focused on alternative education, reduce inequality education, quality assurance, and develop the education qualification framework. In this occasion, Myanmar would like to cooperate with Thailand on the educational development i.e. vocational education, basic education, teacher development and develop curriculum of higher education including the establishment of student union from Thailand.
H E Dr Teerakiat also thanked Minister for Education, Myanmar and expressed gratitude for the loss of beloved King of Thailand. Then, His Excellency exchanged the Thailand’s goals of educational development by developing a 20-year National Educational Plan that complied with the new constitution and national development policy that provided the freedom of academic, and promoted the cooperation of all sectors in educational management. Thailand also focused on the teacher reform, staring from the selection, training and motivation for teacher and the new generation. Thailand also conducted the alternative education management, quality assurance in line with the market demand; promoting mathematics and science education; and education for sustainable development in order to comply with national policy.
In the afternoon, His Excellency visited SEAMEO CHAT in Yangon. Ms Myint Myint Ohn, Centre Director of SEAMEO CHAT gave a briefing of Centre’s activities during FY 2016/2017.