The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) works hand in hand with the 11 SEAMEO Member Countries to improve quality and equity of existence in education infrastructure, preventive health education, culture and tradition, Information and Technology (IT), languages, poverty alleviation, agriculture, and natural resources throughout SEAMEO 7 Priority Areas including 1) Promoting universal early childhood care and education; 2) Addressing barriers to inclusion; 3) Promoting resiliency in the face of emergencies; 4) Promoting technical and vocational education and training; 5) Revitalising teacher education; 6) Promoting harmonization in higher education and research, and 7) Adopting a 21st Century curriculum.
The SEAMEO High Officials Meeting (HOM) is the forerunner of the regular SEAMEO Council Conference organized by the SEAMEO Secretariat. It attempts at reviewing existing programmes, expenditures, legal aspects and matters concerning SEAMEO as an intergovernmental organization's administration and activities. The 42nd SEAMEO HOM was made up of two parts: The In-Camera Session on 26 November 2019, and the Plenary Session on 27-28 November 2019. The meeting presented the working papers on SEAMEO Regional Centres, SEAMEO Associate Members Countries, Affiliate Members, and Partners, as well as Inter-Centre Collaboration (ICC) on core interventions and programmes to promote education, culture, and science in the region, and highlighted the ongoing projects and programmes.
A total of 149 participants from 11 SEAMEO Member Countries, two Associate Member Countries, four Affiliate Members, 26 SEAMEO Regional Centers, and 21 Partners attended and actively participated in this 42nd SEAMEO HOM. The High Officials discussed and endorsed decisions on SEAMEO working papers for the In-Camera Session and 34 working papers for the Plenary Session. Such working papers will then be submitted for consideration and approval by the SEAMEO Council.
In her welcome remark, Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Director of the SEAMEO Secretariat, stressed that SEAMEO will continue to monitor new trends, and focus on what those changes mean for SEAMEO's students, young people, and lifelong learners today and in the future when SEAMEO makes its strategic plan for the next 10 years. She further said that SEAMEO would aim to develop and build upon a broader context in education, science and culture to see the driving forces behind the future of our children, youth and life-long learners, such as technologies, demography, rivals, investors, roles of Artificial Intelligent (AI) in education, and future transversality.
H E Mr Nataphol Teepsuwan, Minister of Education, Thailand, delivered the opening address by sharing education concerns in the sense of Thailand. His Excellency, who was tasked with the Educational Reform by the Prime Minister, stressed that education is important to a country's development. H E said that the advancement of education in Thailand is still very sluggish, while the world moves much more rapidly. His Excellency added that we will be left behind if our preparation does not move very quickly. Finally, His Excellency expected the meeting to discuss current educational problems and provide a roadmap to creating a better education system in Southeast Asia and worldwide.
Dato ' Mohd Gazali Abas, Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Malaysia, who was Chairman of the 42nd SEAMEO High Officials Meeting, emphasized that the 50th SEAMEC stressed the importance of cooperation and collaboration in fostering equitable, meaningful and sensitive education to achieve the objective of taking SEAMEO forward into the next step of development. He noted more than ever that our education system is a crossroads of immense growth and technological progress as illustrated in the 4th Strategic Dialog for Ministers of Education (SDEM).
The 42nd SEAMEO HOM concluded in positive results, productive discussions, and close links between the SEAMEO Member Countries, SEAMEO Associate Member Countries, Affiliate Members, and Partners, which are necessary to further strengthen and support education, science and culture growth in Southeast Asia and beyond.
The photos are available at https://www.seameo.org/wg/42hom/
The presentations and videos are available at http://link.seameo.org/42hom-pdf-ppt