From 27 to 29 November 2018 SEAMEO organised its 41st High Official Meeting. This annual meeting is to review programmes that are in progress or have been achieved by SEAMEO units in the previous year, and to consider proposals of new programmes that involve collaboration on a regional level.
This year's meeting listened to a myriad of papers presented by SEAMEO units presenting or proposing programmes within their specialised scope of work and serving their mission in respond to SEAMEO 7 Priority Areas (2015-2035). In total, there are over 300 programmes/activities that have been done or are in progress so far.
The programmes varied from those more on the academic end of the education provision spectrum like mathematics teaching and learning, through those that focus more on the artistic and cultural aspects like the music competition using mobile application, to those more on the other end of the spectrum: conditions that facilitate the well-being of learners so that they can maximise their learning like programmes for improving nutrition for better performance of school children.
In the presentation on Vietnam's last year's achievements, Dr Phan Dang Hung emphasised that Vietnam had issued the Action Plan for the period of 2016-2020 to implement the scheme Development and Implementation of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community by 2025. The scheme laid out four main tasks in response to SEAMEO 7 Priority Areas.
He also stressed two key advancements in Vietnam education policy development for Priority Ảea 7. First is the soon-to-implement abandonment of the score system in primary school pupils. Pupils are not given scores, but instead receive comments, which reduces much pressure of having the highest score, being the top of the class for the pupils themselves as well as their families. Second is the gradual shift from the content approach to the qualitative approach to better cater for the demand for human resources development.
The meeting concluded with the review and adoption of the 41st HOM proceedings, and set the dates for the next meeting which is 26-28 November 2019.