Thailand Hosts Third SEAMEO Annual Forum on Basic Education

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 |




The forum brought more than 20 high-level officials and representatives from the SEAMEO Member Countries and Associate Members namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PRD, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam and Germany. Invited international organizations and development partners such as UNICEF, UNESCO, Right to Play, Plan International Thailand, and the World Bank also sent representatives to attend the forum.

The three-day activity served as platform for participating countries to discuss basic education and reflect on ways to further enhance its provision. Dr Chinnapat Bhumirat, Secretary General of OBEC, Ministry of Education, Thailand and Dr Witaya Jeradechakul, Director, SEAMEO Secretariat ™s jointly officiated at the forum's opening ceremony on 12 February 2013.

During the forum, SEAMEO Member Countries shared their experiences in quality and equity education provision, particularly their achievements, challenges and lessons learned. Particular cases were presented on the implementation of supportive policies and innovative strategies to meet the six Education For All (EFA) Goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In support of these goals, SEAMEO Member Countries have been strengthening aspects of education provision and support including teacher training, learning process and outcomes, financing and others.

Key messages acquired from the country presentations include the recognition of the crucial role of education in preparing learners to acquire skills needed to face the challenges of the 21st Century, responding to climate change and natural disasters through education, and inculcating appreciation and respect to diversity of Southeast Asian community towards sustainable growth in the region.

Dr Gwang-Jo Kim, Director, UNESCO Bangkok and Dr Clifford Meyers, Regional Educational Adviser of UNCEF EAPRO shared the global and regional perspectives in quality and equity of basic education. Among others, UNESCO highlighted the importance of quality and equity of basic education provision in building sustainable future and provided updates on the implementation of EFA and education-related MDGs of SEAMEO Member Countries. On the other hand, UNICEF illustrated education financing in relation to the improvement of quality and equity of education and learning outcomes in all education levels.

On the second day of the forum, the forum participants witnessed the opening of the 62nd OBEC Educational Fair with the theme œSupremacy with Grace and Wisdom  which was officiated by Mr Sermsak Pongpanich, Deputy Education Minister, Ministry of Education, Thailand. The exhibition was arranged according to sub-themes such as 1) Identity and Cultural Diversity, 2) Interdependence and Globalization, 3) Peace Building and Conflict Resolution and 4) Social Justice and Human Rights. The display showcased significant achievements of Thailand in improving quality and equity in basic education which eventually move the country towards unity.

The forum concluded with a keynote address by Khunying Dr Kasama Varavam, former OBEC ™s Secretary General and former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Thailand, summarizing the experiences and lessons learned on quality and equity in education based on the different contexts of the SEAMEO Member Countries which, to a great extent, are instrumental in providing equal access to quality education to all.

The notion of a Forum on Basic Education was introduced and approved by the SEAMEO Council in 2010 to initiate a platform for high-level officials in effectively leveraging on experiences of SEAMEO Member Countries through sharing, as well as promoting greater achievements at par with international benchmarks and standards. The forum also fosters closer ties among high-level officials in charge of basic education in SEAMEO Member Countries and Associate Members. SEAMEO Member Countries take turn in hosting the forum. Brunei Darussalam will host the next Annual Forum on Basic Education in 2013-2014.

Dr Chinnapat Bhumirat, Secretary General of OBEC, Ministry of Education, Thailand and Dr Witaya Jeradechakul, Director, SEAMEO Secretariat ™s jointly officiated the opening of the forum.

Dr Gwang-Jo Kim, Director, UNESCO Bangkok and Dr Clifford Meyers, Regional Educational Adviser of UNCEF EAPRO provided input on the global and regional perspectives of quality and equity of basic education. The conclusion was provided through a keynote address by Khunying Dr Kasama Varavam, former OBEC ™s Secretary General and former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Thailand.

 

High-level officials in charge of basic education in SEAMEO Member Countries and the Director of SEAMEO Secretariat engage in discussions on equity and quality of basic education in Southeast Asia.

 

SEAMEO Member Countries share country experiences, achievements and lessons learned in providing quality and equitable education to meet the EFA and the MDGs.

 

Participants to the forum participated in the 62nd OBEC Educational Fair with the theme œSupremacy with Grace and Wisdom , a back-to-back event organized by the Ministry of Education, Thailand to showcase the significant achievements of Thailand in improving quality and equity in basic education. Photos show (top) the forum participants from the SEAMEO Member Countries during the opening of the exhibit, (left) Mr Sermsak Pongpanich, Deputy Education Minister, Ministry of Education, Thailand welcomes the SEAMEO high officials, and (right) a student from Thailand explains exhibit materials to the SEAMEO high officials.

 

High officials and representatives from SEAMEO Member Countries and Associate Member in a group photo