Organizers   In partnership with


“The Government of Japan has contributed and supported the organization of SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award through the collaboration of MEXT and SEAMEO since 2012”.


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In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 57/254 and declared the period 2005-2014 as
the “United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” (DESD).

The UNESCO General Conference at its 40th Session and the UN General Assembly at its 74th Session in 2019 endorsed Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030) as the global framework for implementation of ESD from 2020-2030.

ESD for 2030 builds upon the lessons learned from the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP, 2015-2019), in response to the increased importance placed on ESD to promote the contribution of learning content to the survival and prosperity of humanity. ESD 2030 places emphasis on education’s contribution to the achievement of the SDGs. It aims to review the purposes and values that underpin education and reorient all levels of education and learning to contribute to sustainable development and to strengthen education and learning in all activities that promote sustainable development.1

While ESD is implemented worldwide under the GAP, in support of further promoting ESD in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the Government of Japan through the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT), in cooperation with the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Bangkok, have shown their collective commitment to promote best practices in ESD in schools across Southeast Asia, by organizing the SEAMEO-Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award. The award scheme has been held annually since 2012.

The objectives of the SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award are:

  1. To raise awareness of ESD in schools and communities across Southeast Asia;
  2. To promote ESD best practices in schools and communities across Southeast Asia;
  3. To share and exchange knowledge and best practices on ESD in schools across Southeast Asia and Japan;
  4. To encourage networking among schools and communities which implement ESD practices in Southeast Asian countries and Japan; and
  5. To support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations.


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*The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consist of 17 integrated and interdependent global goals with associated 169 targets, which aim to shift the world on to a path towards sustainable and resilient development.


The Award has been conducted with the following themes and participated by the following number of schools in Southeast Asia.

Year Theme Number of Participated Schools Participated Countries in Southeast Asia
2012 Education for Disaster Risk Reduction 69 7 Countries:
Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
2013 Values Education 126 8 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
2014 Fostering Global Citizenship for Sustainable Future 63 9 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
2015 Safeguarding our Cultural Traditions 90 10 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
2016 Saving Energy 43 8 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
2017 Improving Health and Nutrition
56 8 Countries
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
2018 Applying Local Wisdom for Environmental Conservation
94 7 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand.
2019 Building Peace in Schools and Communities
79 9 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand.
2020 Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities 181 9 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.
2021 Securing Educational Opportunities in COVID-19 Crisis 282 8 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
2022 Education Transformation through Partnership 278

8 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand


Promoting Environmental Education through Utilizing Renewable Energy


8 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand




Lifelong learning is the key to personal growth, professional development, and societal progress. In a world where technology evolves rapidly and industries constantly transform, the ability to continuously adapt is essential. Lifelong learning empowers individuals to stay relevant in their careers by acquiring new skills, knowledge, and perspectives. It enables them to embrace change with confidence rather than fear, fostering resilience and agility in navigating complex challenges.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning is equally vital today. STEM fields drive innovation and technological progress, shaping virtually every aspect of modern life. From healthcare and communication to transportation and energy, STEM disciplines play a pivotal role in solving complex problems and improving the quality of life for people around the globe.

A lifelong STEM learning helps individuals develop critical thinking skills and a problem-solving mindset, and fosters a culture of continuous exploration. Indeed, fostering such a culture is vital given a complex enough issue may require a collective effort in order to come up with a complete and sustainable solution.

Community engagement plays a pivotal role in fostering vibrant, resilient, and inclusive societies. At its core, community engagement entails active participation and dialogue among stakeholders in a community to address common goals and challenges. The vitality of community engagement lies in its ability to harness the collective wisdom, resources, and energies of community members to create positive change and enhance the well-being of all.

Combining lifelong STEM learning with community engagement amplifies its impact by fostering collaboration, relevance, and inclusivity. Engaging with local communities provides real-world contexts for applying STEM knowledge and skills. Such an engagement also contributes directly to addressing local needs, making learning more meaningful and motivating. Furthermore, community engagement promotes collaboration and knowledge-sharing among diverse groups, facilitating interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving.

Considering these significances, the 2024 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award selects the theme “Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning through Community Engagement”. The objectives of this year’s award scheme are:

  1. to increase public awareness and knowledge on the vitality of lifelong STEM learning and community engagement in solving present and potential problems;
  2. to encourage schools and communities in Southeast Asia and Japan to promote lifelong STEM learning through community engagement in developing a more sustainable future;
  3. to promote and share initiatives and good practices that integrate lifelong STEM learning and community engagement into teaching and learning practices and school’s programmes.

Under the theme of “Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning through Community Engagement”, the school entry should cover the following areas:

  1. The entry should be relevant to the theme and the scope of “Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning through Community Engagement” as defined above.
  2. The entry should highlight the school’s programme that promotes community engagement to promote lifelong STEM learning, such as a programme where the school engages its alumni to develop mathematical thinking, or a programme where the school utilizes its STEM facilities to provide STEM courses for lifelong learning in the community. The entry should also describe how the school’s programme can contribute to a more sustainable society and environment.
  3. The school’s programme should be mainly led by students in cooperation amongst teachers, other students, parents and communities.
  4. The entry should clearly demonstrate the integration of the theme in the entire school’s policy, management plan, participatory planning and implementation, curriculum, teaching and learning practices, partnership efforts, parent and community participation, and so on.



All public and private kindergarten / elementary / secondary / vocational and technical (up to Grade 12) schools in 11 Southeast Asian countries – namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam – are invited to submit information about initiatives that are related to the theme of this year’s competition.




1)  1st Prize Winner

  • USD$1,500
  • A study tour to Japan for students and teachers involved in planning and implementing the school’s initiative for this award.
(The organizer will sponsor the travel expenses for four to six persons, which includes round-trip airfares, accommodation for two nights, domestic transportation in Japan, interpreter, and visa fees).
2) 2nd Prize Winner
  • USD$1,000
3) 3rd Prize Winner
  • USD$500

4) A Special Prize from the SEAMEO Secretariat for the best programme carried out in small schools of less than 250 students

  • USD$1,000

All winning schools will receive a Plaque of Recognition and Certificate of Appreciation for teachers and students
involved in planning and implementing the school’s initiative for this award.

A representative from the winning schools will be sponsored to participate at the award presentation ceremony which will be held at the SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in November 2024, Pattaya, Thailand.

All winning schools will also be involved in a webinar post award to share their ESD efforts.

All shortlisted schools will receive Certificate of Recognition for the school. The coordinators of shortlisted schools (maximum of 2 persons) will receive the Certificate of Appreciation.

All participating schools that have submitted entries relevant to the theme will be recognized (name, project name and country) on the SEAMEO website and receive the Certificate of Participation.



The judging committee will consider the following criteria in selecting the winning schools:

  1. Strategy/Modality of Implementation
    • The school has demonstrated clear school’s plans and policies, effective strategies, and programme components/activities on how to implement the school’s programme.
    • Appropriate and effective methods and resources are used to implement the programme.
    • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms or processes are identified to ensure the immediate and long-term outcomes.
    • The school has demonstrated the use of participatory processes – involving students, teachers, parents, community stakeholders and partners – in planning and implementing the programme.
  2. Teaching and Learning Approaches
    • The school has integrated lifelong STEM learning and community engagement into teaching and learning practices and school’s programmes to ensure that students are able to connect the practices into their daily life, the local environment, and community.
  3. Innovation and Creativity
    • The school’s programme has demonstrated innovative practice in relation to the theme that can be replicated.
    • The school has demonstrated innovative ideas for utilizing available resources.
  4. Engagement with Community
    • The school has engaged community partners such as neighbouring educational institutions, local government authorities and parent associations to co-implement the school’s programme.
    • The school’s programme has increased public awareness and action to promote lifelong STEM learning through community engagement to create a more sustainable future.
    • The school’s programme has strengthened student involvement and contribution to improve sustainable development and effectively promote lifelong STEM learning through the engagement of local communities.
  5. Impact and Sustainability
    • Results of the school’s programme have revealed the effectiveness and benefits of the school’s programme to students, teachers, parents, and the wider community.
    • The school has demonstrated a clear future plan on how to sustain or scale up the initiative.
  6. Interrelationship with other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • The school has demonstrated that the school’s programme has integrated the improvement of other SDGs, not the individual pursuit of each SDG, but has interrelation with other SDGs. Therefore, the school should make a clear statement in its application on how the school’s programme connects to other SDGs.



The Judging Committee consists of experts in the areas of education for sustainable development, and education from Japan and the Southeast Asian region. The decision of the Judging Committee is final and challenges/appeals are not allowed.


  1. The sharp deadline of entry submissions is 15 August 2024.Late submission is not accepted.
  2. Each school can submit only one (1) entry.
  3. The school’s entry that has been shortlisted or won the SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award within the past five (5) years (2019-2023) is not considered.
  4. Schools must submit the following requirements to the SEAMEO Secretariat:
    • A completed submission form of 2024 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Awardwhich have to be made in .docx or .pdf format, maximum file size is 10 MB. The submission form can be downloaded from the SEAMEO website: or request through email:
    • A 3-minute video clippresents the school’s programme in English. If it is produced in local language, please add subtitles so that the judging committee can understand it. Please upload your video to YouTube or other video-sharing sites and submit the video link through the google form as detailed in No.9
  5. The information about the school’s programme (in Part II as follows) should not be over five (5) pages of A4 in total. The information should be written in Times New Roman/Calibri font, font size 11.
    1. Part I - Information about the school;
      • School’s name and contact details
      • Brief information about the school such as number of teachers and students and educational level
      • Contact details of the coordinator
    2. Part II - Information about the school’s programme;
      • Title of the school’s programme
      • Summary of the programme (maximum of 300 words)
      • Objectives/goals of the school’s programme
      • Period of time when the programme has been started
      • Activities (strategies/activities of implementation, and brief information on each activity)
      • Teaching and learning approaches/strategies that the school has integrated into the programme
      • Engagement with the community and sharing of school practices to the community.
      • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms
      • Measurable achievement of the school’s programme to students, teachers, parents, and wider community
      • Plan for future
      • Interrelationship of the school’s programme with other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
      • Link(s) to the information of school’s programme in social media platforms such as facebook, website, youtube
  6. All submissions should include related photos. A maximum of five (5) photoswith captions written in English can be attached with the submission form.
  7. (Optional) All submissions can be attached with a maximum of two (2) supporting documentswhich can be written in local language. However, a brief translation in English should be provided.
  8. Only specific file types of supporting documents are accepted which are .docx, .pdf, .xlsx, and .ppt. If the supporting documents are made in .docx or .pdf, it should be less than or equal to twenty (20) pages each.
  9. How to Submit the Entry: Please send the completed submission form of 2024 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award and a link of three-minute video clip together with supporting documents to the following google form:

    Note: To align with the ESD practices and to save the environment and energy, the Committee will NOT accept the entry in hard/printed copies.

  10. After submitting the google form, you will receive a copy of your responses via the responder’s email immediately. Your responses can be edited after submitting by clicking the ‘Edit response’ button in the email you receive after submitting the google form.



1 June - 15 August 2024

Period for submission of entries to the SEAMEO Secretariat by schools

15 August 2024

Deadline for entry submissions

1 November 2024

Announcement of the winning schools on the SEAMEO website

29 November 2024

Awarding ceremony of winners at the 47th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in Pattaya

TBC in 2025

Study visit programme in Japan for the 1st prize winner of 2024 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award



Mr Garry Pawitandra Poluan
Learning Innovation and Information Specialist
SEAMEO Secretariat
Bangkok, Thailand