OFFICIAL VISIT OF SEAMEO COUNCIL PRESIDENT AND THE ACTIVATION CEREMONY OF THE ONLINE ELECTRONIC RESOURCE SYSTEM
On 22-25 July 2018, HE Prof Dr Muhadjir Effendy, Minister of Education and Culture, Indonesia and concurrently SEAMEO Council President travelled to Vietnam in one of his visits to SEAMEO Member Countries during his tenure. Accompanying the Minister were high officials from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia, Dr Gatot Hari Priowirjanto, SEAMEO Secretariat Director, and SEAMEO Secretariat officials. On the working visit to Vietnam this time, the Minister met with HE Prof Dr Phung Xuan Nha, Minister of Education and Training, Vietnam; also, as the incumbent SEAMEO Council President, the Minister of Education and Culture, Indonesia paid a visit to SEAMEO Regional Centre for Lifelong Learning (SEAMEO CELLL) and SEAMEO Regional Training Centre (SEAMEO RETRAC) at their offices based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
During the presidential visit to SEAMEO CELLL, the Centre Director briefed SEAMEO Council President on the Centre’s activities during the past few years as well as its strategic directions for development in the upcoming period.
This occasion also marked the activation ceremony of the e-resource on LLL honourably launched by the Minister. The Minister officially activated the e-resource system at the address www.elib-SEAportal.org.
The online portal www.SEA-LLLportal.org comprising the e-resource system is one of the main components of the project: “Towards a lifelong learning agenda in Southeast Asian countries” which is implemented by SEAMEO CELLL and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) with the purpose of supporting SEAMEO countries in developing and
implementing holistic and comprehensive lifelong learning approaches that link different sectors and forms of learning. The two-phase project was funded by UIL with 100,000 Euros for each phase to be implemented from 2016 to 2018 with strong participation of 11 Ministries of Education in Southeast Asian countries and concurrently SEAMEO Member Countries.
To promote education for all while ensuring both equity and quality, SEAMEO countries should define their vision of lifelong learning and learn from one another with regard to policies and good practices. In this connection, it is regarded essential to establish a channel of information wherein articles, studies, reports and statistics concerning the field of lifelong learning are collected and disseminated among SEAMEO countries. This online portal serves as a hub for exchanging information, policies and good practices in lifelong learning in the region. The e-resource system in this portal is also expected to facilitate easier and more convenient access to these lifelong learning documents. Currently, there are over 700 documents classified into main subjects in lifelong learning; the resources will be continuously developed and updated by ASEAN countries and SEAMEO member countries.
From 17 to 19 July 2018, SEAMEO Secretariat organised the 2018 Centre Director Meeting (CDM) at Arnoma Hotel, Bangkok. A total of 92 participants from 26 specialist institutions of SEAMEO and SEAMEO Secretariat reviewed the activities accomplished in FY 2017/18, considered 15 proposals and project updates from the centres. The proposals from different centres reflected their commitment to contributing to education and learning in various ways within the expertise of the individual centres, serving to accomplish the SEAMEO seven priority areas for 2015-2015 and contributing to the achievement of SDG4.
Most of the programmes that were carried out or will be implemented aim to enhance learning by improving teaching and learning techniques and caring for health. Key issues arising from the discussion were increasing access to and enhancing quality of education, and promoting Global Citizenship Education (GCED) to meet the new period when a sense of belonging to a common humanity is needed for a culture of peace.
Of special interest is the APCEIU publication Global Citizenship Education: A Guide for Policymakers developed to assist UNESCO Member States to strengthen GCED in national education policies, strategies and plans in order to achieve SDG Target 4.7, in particular.
During the three days meeting, the participants brought in a considerable number of ideas and constructive suggestions to enhance feasibility and success of the activities.
The second day of the programme was devoted to networking with affiliate members and partners. These were fourteen prestigious organisations and institutions in education, namely:
The networking proved productive with new potential partnership established and a whole array of collaborative activities agreed on between centres and partners, and among centres, promising a busy year of educational activities for the region.
SEAMEO CDM is an annual meeting where SEAMEO Secretariat, centre directors and professional personnel review past activities and propose new programmes for endorsement. It is also an opportunity to discuss new collaborative projects among centres and partners that help fulfill SEAMEO mission and realise its vision of a leading organisation fostering understanding and cooperation in education, science and culture for a better quality of life in Southeast Asia. The next meeting is scheduled for 9-11 July 2019.