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SEAMEO launches bid to close regional education gap

Update: March, 22/2013 - 10:34
Member countries are currently reaching agreements on programmes for training teachers and improving students' English and practical skills, he said, in which they seek to include more technology in the classroom.—VNA/VNS Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Members of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) hope to narrow the education gap by creating regional standards that set out the qualifications and degrees educators need, said Viet Nam's Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan yesterday as the organisation ended its 47th conference.

Member countries are currently reaching agreements on programmes for training teachers and improving students' English and practical skills, he said, in which they seek to include more technology in the classroom.

Dr.Witaya Jeradechakul, Director of the SEAMEO Secretariat, said the organisation also sought to make it easy for teachers and students to move between member countries via SEAMEO regional centres.

This would require simplifying visa procedures, pointed out Phongthep Thepkanjana, the Thai Minister of Education and Vice President of the SEAMEO Council.

Minister Luan made clear that the distinguishing features of each country's education system would not be discarded; rather, they would play an active role in innovating education in each country.

Concrete accomplishments made during the conference included signing legal documents on the establishment of the SEAMEO regional centre for lifelong learning (SEAMEO CELL), admitting the United Kingdom as an associate member country of SEAMEO and starting a SEAMEO forum (SEAMEO College).

The centre for lifelong learning will help the Vietnamese government implement its Education Development Strategy 2011-2020, which stipulates that by 2020, the country will ensure lifelong learning opportunities for all and build a learning society. Since its establishment in 1965, SEAMEO now has 11 member countries, eight associate member countries, three affiliate members and 20 SEAMEO regional centres. — VNS



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