JAKARTA, 26 April 2016. – Senior education officials and representatives from ASEAN-affiliated institutions and international organisations participated in a workshop to finalise the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020. Held on 25-26 April at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, the workshop was chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sisamone Sithirajvongsa, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and Chair of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED).

The workshop concluded the formulation of the ASEAN work plan on education and provided opportunity to build consensus among ASEAN Member States (AMS) on strategies to further develop the education sector in ASEAN.

During the Opening Ceremony, Mr. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, highlighted the importance of the ASEAN Work Plan on Education in strengthening, deepening and widening educational cooperation among the ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Dialogue Partners as well as other regional platforms on education. He also emphasised that the said work plan would enhance commitment of the ASEAN Member States to human development and provide opportunity for inclusive participation of all.

An important aspect of this work plan focused on cross-sectoral initiatives and opportunities related to education. Relevant ASEAN Secretariat divisions such as those related to narrowing the development gap, connectivity, as well as services and investment were invited to provide inputs to the work plan in relation to their respective divisions and sector roadmaps.

The AMS expressed resolve to strengthen cooperation on education in ASEAN by identifying projects and activities that they would lead in the next five years. Development partners such as UNESCO and UNICEF have also indicated interest to support the implementation of the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020.

Following the workshop, the final draft of the said work plan will be submitted to the SOM-ED for endorsement and to the ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting for adoption. Both meetings will take place in May 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 is expected to be launched in June 2016.