Southeast Asia ministers pledge continuing education reform
VIENTIANE — Laos and other members of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization for Community Education Development (SEAMEO CED) have vowed ongoing cooperation to enhance the upgrade of regional community education.
The pledge was made last week during the first Governing Board Meeting of the SEAMEO Regional Center in Vientiane.
In her address, Minister of Education and Sports Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun explained that raising the quality of both formal and non-formal education in Laos was challenging because 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas with poor socio-economic conditions.
The national education standards are difficult for many schools to realise due to an insufficiency of qualified teachers, teaching methods and technology, she said.
In addition, the capacity and ability of rural communities and community leaders to enhance the development of education and learning are limited.
But Mrs Sengdeuane believed that effective cooperation among SEAMEO members and partners would help to enhance the quality of education in the region.
Particularly, having a SEAMEO CED Center in Vientiane would enable the Lao government to effectively cooperate with other SEAMEO member countries and SEAMEO Centers as well as development partners to share experiences and best practices, and learn about new teaching and learning technology for use in education.
Director of the SEAMEO Secretariat Program, Dr Gatot Hari Priowirjanto, said Southeast Asia was a rapidly changing region with exciting possibilities and serious challenges.
The recent development of the Asean community was a testament to the opportunities, with seven priorities set over the next 20 years aimed at meeting the challenges head on.
SEAMEO was attempting to develop an education system in Southeast Asia that was proactive and future-orientated, and yet rooted in the values and traditions of the region, he said.
Over 53 years, members have accomplished so much, but were still not satisfied with their achievements so SEAMEO members must continue to work together to fulfil the organisation’s potential, Dr Priowirjanto added.
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