Adult Learning and Education (ALE) can look back to a long history. It was a part of ancient cultures, from China to Rome. Thinkers of all times were aware that learning should not stop at an early stage, but learning is an integral part of life. “Once you stop learning, you start dying”, the great Einstein said.
The 20th Century was the glorious time of the adult education movement, with campaigns eliminating illiteracy in China, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Turkey, Yugoslavia and several other countries. The CONFINTEA was established as a series of high-level conferences in 1949. In 2015, the Recommendations on Adult Learning and Education (RALE) were adopted by the 38th UNESCO General Conference. ALE was widely recognized as an integral condition for human development, well-being and democracy.
In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals and the education 2015 opened a new opportunity for ALE. Although not mentioned explicitly, it was considered as an integral part of the Lifelong Learning framework, which was declared to be the guiding concept for the education sector.
On 05-06 June 2019 the conference "Rethinking ALE – Asian Perspectives" was hosted by DVV International to explore the opportunities for ALE in the 21st century and reflect on the changes and innovations the concept needs to be understood and adopted by key stakeholders as well as by the people and the communities. Mr Mai Hong Quan, SEAMEO CELLL Deputy Manager of Research and Training was invited to joined nearly 50 ALE and LLL experts and officials from countries of Lao PDR, Cambodia, and organisations & institutions such as ASPBAE, DVV International, PRIA, SEAMEO Secretariat, UNESCO Bangkok in the two-day event in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
The first day of the event was for thematic field trips in which participants were divided into three groups to visit: a CLC and a non-formal education development centre (Theme 1: The NFE system in Lao PDR); Faculty of Education, National University of Laos and SEAMEO CED (Theme 2: Training and research for NFE); and Lao Youth Union Training Center and Non-profit Association (Theme 3: Youth work). The second day, which was the main conference day, witnessed a series of interesting presentations by various keynote speakers of ALE and LLL. After lunchtime, the three themes of the previous day continued by the participants being divided into three groups where they attended detailed reports and sharing experience and good practices, followed by each group suggesting and presenting three recommendations to the conference. SEAMEO CELLL's delegate took part in Theme 1 and shared the video clip about Xuat Hoa CLC in Hoa Binh province, Vietnam to illustrate a successful practice of CLC as a fundamental institution for ALE and LLL.
The conference concluded with a plenary panel discussion by Dr Johann Heilmann - DVV International: DVV South and Southeast Asia’s Regional Director, Assoc Prof Roberto Guevara - ICAE and RMIT Melbourne, Assoc Prof Suwithida Charungkaittikul - Chulalongkorn University, Dr Ethel Agnes Valenzuela - SEAMEO Secretariat director, and Dr Sunok Jo - NILE Korea. Afterwards, all delegates were invited to join a reception where the staff of DVV International Regional Office South-East Asia in Lao PDR paid tribute and said goodbye to Mr Uwe Gartenschlaeger and welcomed Dr Johann Heilmann as the new DVV International Regional Director.
May SEAMEO CELLL take this opportunity to sincerely thank Mr Uwe Gartenschlaeger for his continued invaluable support to SEAMEO CELLL during his tenure of office, and we wish him tons of happiness and success in the years ahead.
SEAMEO CELLL would also like to warmly congratulate Dr Johann Heilmann on his new position and we really look forward to having even stronger connection and cooperation with DVV International in your directorship.
SEAMEO CELLL ATTENDED REGIONAL WORKSHOP "SOUTHEAST ASIA TEACHERS COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK, TEACHERS’ SATISFACTION AND MOTIVATION"
SEA-TCF was developed by the Teachers’ Council of Thailand (TCT), in partnership with the SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES) and the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH). It is intended to be a reference framework for pre-service teacher education, recruitment and selection, in-service training and continuing professional development for teachers in Southeast Asia. In August 2018, the SEAMEO Council approved the Southeast Asia Teachers Competency Framework (SEA-TCF) to be used for teachers in the region.
The workshop listened to a body of country presentations sharing their policy-supported teachers' competencies framework implementation in relation to the SEA-TCF. Discussion of factors contributing to teachers' satisfaction and motivation was conducted on day two of the workshop. Mr Khau Huu Phuoc, Manager of SEAMEO CELLL Research and Training Department, provided input on the role of lifelong learning in ensuring motivation in the teaching profession.
The workshop concluded with a summary of key points of the content, delivered by Dr Ethel, and the closing remark by Dr Ho Thanh My Phuong in which she thanked the participants for their contributions, especially the valued comments on key factors that enhance teachers' satisfaction and motivation that feed into the study currently conducted by SEAMEO RETRAC.
Lifelong learning promotion is on the agenda of many countries to meet with the rising need of constant learning and keeping up with changes and development to improve life. A core component of lifelong learning is adult learning and education (ALE), whereby working adults see a huge demand for learning so they can cope with a myriad of issues in the modern world, ranging from personal matters to vocational trajectories and world issues.
Although the concept of ALE is widely known in many developed countries, it has yet to receive an official status in the legal framework of several Southeast Asian countries. In this regards, DVV International Regional Office has introduced a research project with an aim to review ALE in five areas of action, namely policy, governance, financing, participation- inclusion - equity, and quality.
This research project is joined by focal point institutions from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. Together with Royal University of Phnom Penh, National University of Laos, Chulalongkorn University in the other countries, SEAMEO CELLL will conduct a desk study to review the current situation of ALE in Vietnam. Projected findings may include the role of ALE in promoting lifelong learning and the gap between policy and demands. The study in Vietnam will be led by Mr Khau Huu Phuoc, Manager of Research and Training Department, who has intense experience in carrying out research on lifelong learning.
On March 4-5, 2019, an inception meeting took place at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand) in order to draw out the conceptual framework for the project. Inputs from participating researchers were collected and the framework was agreed upon. The research project has been officially kicked off and country papers are expected to accomplish this August for peer-review and systhesis.
As part of the research project Lifelong learning for ethnic groups in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: Towards culturally responsive development, an expert meeting was organised at the end of January, 2019 at Mahidol University, Thailand.
The research project is led by UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED) and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) with the participation of five focal point institutions from five countries, namely Department of Non-formal Education, Cambodia; Yunnan Normal University, China; SEAMEO CED, Lao PDR; RILCA, Thailand; and SEAMEO CELLL, Vietnam. The expected outcomes of this project are five country reports and a synthesis report on government interventions to promote education for ethnic groups, from which policy and practice recommendations as well as lesson sharing can be employed to better educational conditions for such disadvantaged groups.
In the expert meeting, focal point institutions were supposed to present the progress of their country reports and challenges that they encountered during researching. Professor Colman Ross, project consultant, together with experienced researchers in the field of ethnic education, provided feedback and suggestions to improve the quality of the country reports. The meeting was productive and of necessity for ensuring all country reports following proper research methodology and aligning with the ultimate goal of the project.
Also on this occasion, the hosting institution organised a field trip to Thai Bueng Cultural Tourism Community. Experts and researchers had a chance to witness the full and happy daily life of an examplary ethnic group in Thailand as well as interview the community leader for an in-depth understanding of such successful operations.
The international seminar concluded fruitfully in terms of both academic knowledge and real-life experience.
On 28 and 29 January 2019, SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA) Thailand in collaboration with SEAMEO Regional Centre for Vocational Training (VOCTECH) BRUNEI Darussalam organised the consultative meeting for their project School-Based Approach in Promoting Disaster Risk Management for Cultural Heritage in Bendar Seri Begwan, Brunei. Ideas for the project sparked in the Youth Leadership Forum in 2016, when concern over the threat of fire to Kampong Ayer was raised. Since then, SEAMEO SPAFA has been contemplating on "Conservation in the Tropics" with case studies of places in various countries, one of which is Brunei Darussalem.
The meeting witnessed the participation of Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam Peter Wolff, SEAMEO CELLL, SEAMEO CHAT, SEAMEO INNOTECH, SEAMEO SPAFA, SEAMEO VOCTECH, Universiti of Brunei, ICCROM, R-DMuch, KMITL. A thick body of reports on initiatives on ways to integrate knowledge of nature and human-induced disasters were shared for comments. Mr Khau Huu Phuoc, Manager of SEAMEO CELLL Research and Training Department, contributed his knowledge in an panel discussion on the role of lifelong learning in maintaining cultural heritage.
The meeting featured a site visit to the cultural heritage Kampong Ayer, a water village with a history of over 1,000 years in the capital of Brunei. The village has been shrinking over the past decade due to various reasons, to name a few, sub-standard living conditions, lure of jobs in companies, migration, marriage to people outside the community, and the threat of disasters. If the village is to be sustainable, measures will have to be taken, and this must be done soon. Besides Kampong Ayer, the participants also visited Awang Semaun Secondary School, where environment-awareness raising activities are promoted among students.
The project School-Based Approach in Promoting Disaster Risk Management for Cultural Heritage is in line with SEAMEO Seven Priority Areas (2015-2035), particularly Priority Area 3 on resiliency in the face of emergencies. It aims to initiate ways to engage school children, teachers and staff, parents and communities in reducing the impact of disaster on their cultural heritage.