SEAMEO-UNESCO Education Congress and Expo Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC)
Bangkok, 27-29 May 2004

I. Background

The 37th SEAMEO Council Conference in March 2002 approved the conduct of the 2nd SEAME0 Education Congress and Expo. During the 38th SEAMEO Council Conference in March 2003 in Makati City, Philippines, the SEAMEO Secretariat and the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Education Bureau, Bangkok signed a Memorandum of Agreement on jointly undertaking the Education Congress and Expo. This MOA signing formally commenced the partnership in organizing and conducting the SEAMEO-UNESCO Education Congress and Expo.

II. Objective

The main objective of the Congress was to enhance regional understanding and co-operation among educators and SEAMEO stakeholders, as well as explore new avenues for a better future in the areas of education, culture and technology.

III. Participation

The event brought together 997 participants from 41 countries all over the world. The list of participants can be accessed at http//

Aside from the SEAMEO Member, Associate Member and Donor Countries, the following were represented at the Congress: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China (including Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan), Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Zambia.

The Ministry of Education of Thailand co-hosted the Congress. Twenty-eight (28) organizations, agencies and institutions agreed to be sponsors of the Congress.

IV. Theme

The theme “Adapting to Changing Times and Needs” was covered through three sub-themes for each day:

(a) Equity of Access to Quality Education; Road to Poverty Alleviation was the focus for Day One
(b) Openness to Change and Respect for Diversity for Day Two
(c) Technology Advancement: Impact on Culture, Peace and Environment for Day Three.

V. Organization

Some of the major preparatory activities for the Congress included:

(a) renaming the event from 2nd SEAMEO Education Congress to SEAMEO-UNESCO Education Congress and Expo
(b) organization of ten (10) committees to facilitate the conduct of the events
(c) hiring the Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) to assist in the implementation of some activities

(d) establishing a Congress Secretariat to serve as Focal Point for communications relating to the Congress
(e) coordinating extensive media exposure and press releases
(f) inviting organizations, institutions and private companies to sponsor the event
(g) creating the Congress homepage with web site address at:

To make the Congress more attractive to prospective participants, the following slogan was adopted and prominently displayed in all materials relating to the Congress: SEAMEO and UNESCO Join Hands to Promote Education for Change.

VI. Conduct and Organization of the Congress

The Congress was held on 27-29 May 2004 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) in Bangkok. The Congress consisted of three plenary sessions, 18 parallel sessions, and 22 satellite sessions. In addition, the following special sessions dealing with specific interest subjects were organized: the Africa-Asia Meet Forum, the SEAMEO Alumni Forum, and the Thai Smart Education Sessions.

Three parallel sessions featured presentations at three levels:
(1) pedagogy in the classroom;
(2) policy in education systems, and
(3) linkages with society at large. Satellite Sessions covered a variety of topics in education that relate to the sub-themes, such as primary, secondary, university, and non formal education, distance learning, ICT, HIV/AIDS, language, culture, environment, values, and others.

VII. The SEAMEO-UNESCO Education Expo

There were 73 exhibitors in the Education Expo providing participants a unique opportunity for networking as well as an excellent way to get in touch with representatives of education organizations, higher education institutions, ICT companies and related education businesses from different countries.

To attract visitors, special expo sessions were organized during the breakout sessions. Around 2000 people visited the Expo. Since many of the target expo participants were students and teachers/educators from Thailand, special sessions dubbed as the Thai Smart Education Sessions were conducted which saw some 1,062 participants.

Ref: 40th SEAMEC 2005 [MC40/WP38]


Last updated: 4 April, 2005  





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