Singapore Assumes Presidency of Southeast Asian Ministers for Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Council (2021-2022)

Published Date: 17 June 2021 04:00 PM

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Singapore assumed the presidency1 of the Southeast Asian Ministers for Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Council for a two-year term (2021 to 2022) and hosted the 51st SEAMEO Council Conference virtually on Thursday, 17 June 2021. Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, Singapore, has been appointed as the President of the SEAMEO Council during this term.

New Education Imperatives in a Post-Covid Era

2. The theme for Singapore's presidency "New Education Imperatives in a Post-COVID Era" reflects the need for education systems to be geared to respond to rapid regional and global developments, as well as the dynamic COVID-19 situation, so that we can emerge stronger as individual nations and together as a region.

3. As part of Singapore's presidency, the Ministry of Education, Singapore (MOE) together with the SEAMEO Regional Language Centre (RELC), the National Institute of Education International (NIEI), and the Science Centre will be organising a suite of activities for SEAMEO member countries2 to exchange views on educational leadership and language training. These include:

  1. A Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programme co-developed by MOE and the Science Centre for teachers and students in Singapore and the region. Virtual student exchanges and professional teacher exchanges will inspire mutual learning in STEM concepts and allow exchange of best practices in the teaching of STEM.
  2. An Educational Leadership Programme organised by NIEI and supported by MOE, whereby about 80 educators across SEAMEO member countries can participate in virtual discussions on policies and strategies to address educational change.
  3. English Language courses organised by RELC and supported by MOE, which aim to deepen English Language capabilities for professional use amongst educators and Ministry of Education officials in the region. For instance, participants will learn a range of communication and presentation skills pegged at their English Language proficiency level through online learning resources, webinars, and virtual lessons with training instructors.

51st SEAMEO Council Conference

4. The SEAMEO Council Conference is a biennial meeting where Education Ministers from 11 SEAMEO member countries discuss educational cooperation in the Southeast Asian region. Delivering Singapore's remarks as the President of the SEAMEO Council (2021-2022) at the 51st SEAMEO Council Conference today, Mr Chan Chun Sing said, "We are all part of the Southeast Asian region, and part of the globally connected world. We face similar challenges that spur us to keep improving our education systems. I believe that the pandemic has only strengthened our resolve to work in partnership."

5. A new 10-year SEAMEO Strategic Plan 2021 – 20303 was also launched at this Conference, laying out the region's priorities for education, science and culture, which will guide SEAMEO's education agenda and regional centre activities in the next decade.

5th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers

6. First conceived in 2014, the Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers is a discussion platform for the Education Ministers to share country practices, review priority areas, and agree on general directions that SEAMEO should take. The 5th Strategic Dialogue, which also took place today, agreed on the Singapore Statement that reaffirms member countries' commitment to improving educational outcomes in the region. The full Statement can be found in the Annex.


Footnotes
  1. Singapore last assumed presidency of the SEAMEO Council in 2006.

  2. The 11 SEAMEO member countries are namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

  3. The 10-year SEAMEO Strategic Plan 2021 – 2030 will be made available at https://www.seameo.org.

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