11 Ministers Announce ‘Commitment to Action’ at SDEM 5

Sunday, 22 August 2021 | Piyapa Su-angavatin

The Ministry of Education, Singapore in collaboration with the SEAMEO Secretariat virtually hosted the 5th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (SDEM 5) on 17 June 2021, back to back with the 51st SEAMEO Council Conference.  



The intent of the SDEM 5, which was themed “New Education Imperatives in a Post-COVID Era”, was for the 11 Ministers of Education of Southeast Asan countries to have an open, conversational-style discussion with one another on how SEAMEO countries can begin to further the refreshed priorities laid out in the SEAMEO Strategic Plan (SSP) 2021 - 2030, which would guide SEAMEO's education agenda and the activities of the regional centres for the next decade.

The SDEM 5 was held closed-door, involving only Ministers, their staff, as well as the SEAMEO Secretariat. During the two-hour dialogue, Ministers were invited to make interventions and respond to points raised on two sub-themes – preparing future-ready learners and education as an uplifting force.

The “SEAMEO Council’s Commitment to Action” was launched as a Singapore Statement of the SDEM 5 and adopted by the SEAMEO Council to commit to improving educational outcomes and innovative transformations in education in Southeast Asia through partnerships.
According to the SEAMEO Council’s Commitment to Action, the SEAMEO Council recommend the cooperation in the region on:

  1. Expanding educational innovations for a technology-pervasive future;
  2. Deepening resilience in education systems to respond to challenges;
  3. Fostering an education environment that continues to uplift the marginalised and most vulnerable members of the Southeast Asian education ecosystem
  4. Supporting capacity building for teachers and education personnel in developing future-ready learners in an ever-evolving world; 
  5. Working with SEAMEO Units to promote a spirt of lifelong learning; and
  6. Creating a policy environment that enhances collaboration and partnership among key education actors, to transform education and science in a manner consistent with Southeast Asian identity and culture.

The SEAMEO Council also recommend the SEAMEO Secretariat and the SEAMEO Regional Centres and Network continue collaborating with international and regional partners and stakeholders to prepare teachers and learners amidst uncertainties and challenges.