Southeast Asian Education Leaders Identify Seven Post-2015 Education Priorities

Sunday, 22 August 2021 |

Dubbed as œStrategic Dialogue of Education Ministers , the one-day meeting that was attended by 32 high-level education officials including education ministers and vice ministers yielded a truly dynamic and forward-looking exchange of ideas on the current trends and challenges confronting education and human resource development in the region, especially in the lead towards the ASEAN Community in 2015 and beyond.

The daylong dialogue resulted to a joint statement of the education ministers outlining seven areas of focus including promoting early childhood care and education; addressing barriers to inclusion and access to basic learning opportunities; preparing school leaders, teachers and students towards resiliency in emergencies; promoting technical and vocational education and training among learners and their parents; reforming teacher education and making teaching profession a first choice; harmonizing higher education and research; and adopting a truly 21st century curriculum.

Key triggers in the dialogue include the realities and persistent concerns in education, the drivers of change, the links between economic growth and education policy, and the shifting demands on education and development, among others. The education ministers also reviewed the progress made by the SEAMEO member countries in education, training, and human resource development in the past decade.

H E Dr Phankham Viphavanh, Minister of Education and Sports of Lao PDR, and H E Prof Dr Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam and President of the SEAMEO Council presided over the opening of the one-day dialogue. Later in the day, HE Br Armin A Luistro, Secretary of Education of the Philippines, and HE Pehin Abu Bakar Apong, Minister for Education of Brunei Darussalam, took turn in leading the discussions among their peers.

Left inset photo: H E Dulce de Jesus Soares, Vice Minister for Pre-School and Basic Education, Ministry of Education, Timor Leste
shares her country ™s experience in education in post-conflict and emergency situations.
Right photo: H E Bro Armin A Luistro, FSC leads the first roundtable on reflections and
insights on key achievements and remaining challenges in the region.

Building on the results of the SEAMEO Study on Post-2015 Education Scenarios and Post-education for All (EFA) Agenda which utilized foresight and perspectives of the futures, the SEAMEO education ministers called for education system that is proactive and future-oriented, and yet rooted in the values and traditions of the region. These desired characteristics alongside the seven Post-2015 education priorities will guide the programme planning and implementation of SEAMEO from 2015 to 2035. The joint statement will also be shared to the SEAMEO network and other stakeholders incuding international organizations and partners such as UNESCO, UNICEF and others.

Ten out of 11 SEAMEO Member Countries attended the Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers. Thailand was unable to attend the education ministers meeting. Invited observers to the dialogue include the ASEAN Secretariat, UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, and the Asian Development Bank.

The ministerial dialogue was organized under the framework of the SEAMEO College, a flagship project of SEAMEO which introduces a platform for high-level discussions on forward-looking issues and concerns that are targeted at preparing Southeast Asia for the challenges of the future, and support the ASEAN community. The project is supported by the Asian Development Bank through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, and executed by the SEAMEO Secretariat and the SEAMEO Regional Centres. SEAMEO INNOTECH led the organization of the Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers which is one of the four modules under the project. The other modules are meant to address case studies on good practices, education innovations for school heads and education practitioners, and a regional forum for youth leaders.

Seated from left: H E Dr Khin Sann Yee, Union Minister for Education, Myanmar;
H E Dulce de Jesus Soares, Vice Minister for Pre-school and Basic Education, Ministry of Education, Timor Leste;
H E Bro Armin A Luistro, FSC, Secretary of Education, Philippines;
Dato' Prof Dr Asma Ismail, Director General, Ministry of Education, Malaysia;
Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education, Singapore;
H E Prof Dr Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training, Vietnam;
H E Dr Phankham Viphavanh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Sports, Lao PDR;
Dr Witaya Jeradechakul, Director, SEAMEO Secretariat;
H E Pehin Abu Bakar Apong, Minister of Education, Brunei Darussalam;
H E Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Cambodia; and
Prof Dr Ainun Na ™im, Secretary General, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia.

Standing are other members of country delegations, observers, and meeting secretariat and consultant.