What is SEAMEO?

The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) is a regional intergovernmental organization established in 1965 among governments of Southeast Asian countries to promote regional cooperation in education, science and culture in the region.

As an organization that has continued to nurture human capacities and explored the peoples’ fullest potential, the SEAMEO maintains its work and aspirations for development with peoples of the region to make lives better in quality and equity in education, preventive health education, culture and tradition, information and communication technology, languages, poverty alleviation and agriculture and natural resources.

The organisation's highest policy-making body is the SEAMEO Council, which comprises the 11 Southeast Asian education ministers. The SEAMEO Secretariat is located in Bangkok, Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam Cambodia Indonesia Lao PDR
Malaysia Republic of the Union of Myanmar Philippines Singapore
Thailand Timor-Leste Socialist Republic of Vietnam  

The leading organization for enhancing regional understanding and cooperation in education, science and culture for a better quality of life in Southeast Asia


To enhance regional understanding, cooperation and unity of purpose among Member Countries for a better quality of life through the establishment of networks and partnerships, the provision of fora among policy makers and experts, and the promotion of sustainable human resource development


"Leading through Learning" 

SEAMEO 7 Priority Areas (2015-2035)

1. Early Childhood Care and Education

Achieving universal pre-primary education by 2030, with particular target on the disadvantaged such as poor children; rural communities; marginalized ethnic and linguistic communities; and children with disabilities benefiting the most.

2. Addressing Barriers to Inclusion

Addressing barriers to inclusion and access to basic learning opportunities of all learners through innovations in education delivery and management to provide for the previously inaccessible and vulnerable groups.

3. Resiliency in the Face of Emergencies

Preparing schools leaders, teachers, students, and local communities in managing and maintaining the delivery of education services during emergencies such as conflicts, extreme weather, and natural disasters

4. Promoting Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Promoting TVET among learners, teachers and parents with more visible investments and relevant curricula that focus on creativity and innovation, with a clear pathway to lifelong learning, higher education and regional labour, skill and learners’ mobility

5. Revitalising Teacher Education

Making teaching a first choice profession through comprehensive, strategic, and practice-based reforms of teacher management and development systems through more professional preparation at pre-service and in-service processes, following an explicit and shared teacher competency framework and a set of standards applicable across the region

6. Promoting Harmonisation in Higher Education and Research

Institutional-level harmonisation taking place with Member Countries investing in strengthening higher education institutions with each institutions determining their most important needs, supported by research, in order to be able to co-ordinate and set quality standards with other institutions.

7. Adopting a 21st Century Curriculum

Pursuing a radical reform through systematic analysis of knowledge, skills, and values needed to effectively respond to changing global contexts, particularly to the ever-increasing complexity of the Southeast Asian economic, socio-cultural, and political environment, developing teacher imbued with ASEAN ideals in building ASEAN community.


Core Values of SEAMEO

The Core Values of SEAMEO are:

  • Attitude
    1. Respect for Cultural Diversity

    2. Belief in People
    3. Commitment
  • Character
    4. Integrity
    5. Professionalism
    6. Collaborativeness
  • Behavior
    7. Striving for Excellence

    8. Proactiveness
    9. Service-orientedness
Core Competencies

SEAMEO prides itself in its technical and scientific expertise in various fields of specialisation, its strength in governance and management, partnership, networking and collaborative skills. It sets the pace in research, creativity and innovative programmes in education, science and culture in the region.

SEAMEO strives for excellence in the following Core Competencies:

  1. Technical and scientific expertise in areas of specialisation
  2. Governance and management skills
  3. Collaborative partnership and networking skills
  4. Research, creativity and innovative skills

Strategic Goals

  1. To develop regional centres of excellence
  2. To provide relevant and responsive programmes that address national and regional issues in SEAMEO’s areas of specialization
  3. To strengthen the organisational capability to initiate and manage change and development to meet the challenges of globalisation
  4. To ensure continued financial viability
  5. To promote research and development (R&D) in education, science and culture and improve the dissemination mechanism
  6. To enhance collaboration among Member Countries and relevant organisations
  7. To be ASEAN’s strategic partner for the advancement of education, science and culture
  8. To facilitate the development of harmonized education standards
  9. To be a regional leader in the advancement of education, science and culture


  1. The Organization is non-profit and not politically oriented
  2. SEAMEO has the largest grouping of country membership (11 Member Countries) in the region to deliver programmes in education
  3. Its flexibility and resilience has enabled it to meet the challenges posed by the fast changing political and socio-economic development in the region
  4. Its professional and technical programmes and activities that are often conducted on a regular scheduled basis are special and unique
  5. The Organization has built a strong infrastructure of extensive physical and equipment resources. Almost every Centre has its own campus, training, research and information dissemination, dormitory facilities to enable it to carry out its functions successfully and with quality
  6. Non-tangible resources of the Organization include its vast experiences, information, extensive network of contacts and linkages both nationally and internationally
  7. Its activities are focused on the universally appealing theme of human resources development including sustainable development. This helps make SEAMEO attractive to countries wishing to make contributions to sustainable development at the grassroots level in Southeast Asia
  8. The competence and experience of its personnel, complemented by the technical expertise provided by the SEAMEO Associate Member Countries and partner agencies, accounts for the quality and impact of its programmes and activities
  9. The regional characteristic of the Centres’ professional staff also contributes to the richness in experience and competence of every Centre to handle projects that it undertakes. SEAMEO activities are not limited to Member Countries within Southeast Asia but are also open to participants, programmes and activities from outside the region. Interactions in these activities further enrich the experiences of the participants as well

The Operational Budget for the SEAMEO Secretariat is underwritten by the Member Countries whereby the respective annual share is determined by the Asian Development Bank contribution index. The Operational Budget of the TROPMED Central Network likewise is equally shared by the SEAMEO Member Countries.

The Centres’ operational budget, capital and annually recurring costs of each Centre are underwritten by their host countries.

The Special Fund is a central fund administered by the SEAMEO Secretariat in order to support regular programmes and activities of SEAMEO Centres. Such programmes and activities include:

  • Annual awards given by SEAMEO partners to outstanding personnel in various categories in the fields of education, science and culture in Southeast Asia
  • Governing Board Meetings
  • Personnel exchanges
  • Project feasibility studies
  • Research and development projects in education, science and culture
  • Research fellowships and grants
  • SEAMEO students exchange programme
  • Seminars and special conferences
  • Training and research scholarships

The SEAMEO Educational Development Fund (SEAMEO EDF) is the lifeblood of the Organization and has been established to serve as the central repository of gifts for SEAMEO to support the requirements of Special Funds and other Funds.

Other Funds have been established to support specific programmes and projects of various SEAMEO units which are not covered by the Operational and Special Funds.