The Fifth ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (5th ASED) was convened on 28 January 2010 in Cebu, Philippines, in conjunction with the 45th SEAMEO Council Conference.
Recalling their views expressed at the 1st ASED that education permeates through all three pillars of the ASEAN Community in enhancing the competitiveness of individual Member States as well as ASEAN as a region, the Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Cha-Am Hua Hin Declaration on Strengthening Cooperation on Education to Achieve an ASEAN Caring and Sharing Community by the ASEAN leaders during the 15th ASEAN Summit on 24 October 2009. They tasked their Senior Officials to follow up on the implementation of the Declaration to strengthen the education sector’s role in contributing to the establishment of an ASEAN Community that is people-centred and socially responsible.
The Ministers noted the progress in developing the five-year work plan, with financial support from the US, to guide their Senior Officials in strengthening, deepening and widening educational cooperation within ASEAN and outside the region, taking into consideration the activities of ASEAN and AUN, and SEAMEO and its regional centres. Emphasising the important role of education in the ASEAN community building process, the Ministers tasked the ASEAN Secretariat to report the progress of the 5-year work plan at the 6th ASED.
Given the significance of educational cooperation as one of the priorities of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation under the Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017), the Ministers welcomed Thailand’s proposal to host an ASEAN+3 Senior Officials Ad Hoc Working Group Meeting on Education on 18-19 March 2010 in Bangkok to discuss the possibility of establishing an ASEAN+3 Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOMED+3), as well as the draft ASEAN+3 Plan of Action on Education.
The Ministers were pleased with the progress in education cooperation with the East Asia Summit (EAS) participating countries, noting that senior education officials from EAS participating countries will hold two workshops this year to build education cooperation among the EAS participating countries for regional competitiveness and community building. The Ministers welcomed Australia’s offer to work with the ASEAN Secretariat on the convening of the two workshops in Jakarta and another ASEAN capital in 2010.
Recalling the decision of the ASEAN Leaders at the 12th ASEAN-ROK Summit on 24 October 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, to continue to explore the possibility of establishing an ASEAN-ROK cyber university, the Ministers noted that the ASEAN University Network (AUN) Secretariat will coordinate on behalf of ASEAN with relevant institutions including open universities to move forward the project. They directed a task force to be formed to explore in detail the possibility and planning of the project.
The Ministers were pleased with the progress in AUN activities, including the projected implementation of the ASEAN Credit Transfer System (ACTS) in AUN Member Universities this year. The ACTS seeks to enhance and facilitate student mobility among AUN Member Universities, which is one of the targets to be achieved under the ‘Free Flow of Skilled Labour’ of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint. The ACTS website has been developed and is hosted by Universitas Indonesia at http://acts.ui.ac.id/.
The Ministers welcomed Indonesia’s offer to host the 4th ASEAN Primary School Sport Olympiad (APSSO) in 2010. APSSO was initiated and led by Indonesia since 2007 in sport disciplines of athletics, football, chess, badminton and table tennis. APSSO was regarded as an excellent platform to promote ASEAN awareness, strengthen regional solidarity and build friendships among children in the region.
The Ministers noted that Thailand will host the 10th ASEAN Students Exchange Programme in August this year. The programme aims to bring together students from ASEAN countries to cultivate understanding, cooperation and networking, and to promote understanding of the different cultures within ASEAN. Six secondary school students and two teachers will be invited from each ASEAN Member State to attend the programme.
The Ministers welcomed Brunei Darussalam’s offer to host the 6th ASED in conjunction with the 46th SEAMEO Council Conference in Bandar Seri Begawan in 31st January – 3 February 2011.
The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Philippines for the warm hospitality and arrangements made in hosting the 5th ASED and to the ASEAN Secretariat for its technical assistance to the Meeting.
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