The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday, June 17, presented its strategic directions to keep educational opportunities accessible to every learner in the Philippines during the 5th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (5th SDEM).
With the theme, “Education as an Uplifting Force,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones shared the various initiatives of DepEd for Filipino learners.
As a member of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), she noted that “it is important that we share our initiatives and programs in providing accessible education to our learners.”
The SEAMEO is a regional intergovernmental organization among governments of Southeast Asian countries that promotes the enhancement of regional understanding and cooperation in education, science, and culture.
As part of its efforts to embrace the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN spirit), Briones said that the Philippines – through DepEd – is “also eager to listen to neighbor countries’ insights to improve our education services and in keeping educational opportunities accessible to all our children.”
In particular, Briones presented the initiatives of DepEd in supporting early childhood education, the inclusion of students with special educational needs, and how to better leverage public and private sectors’ partnerships to support vulnerable students.
Briones was joined by Education Ministers from Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand in further discussing the theme “Education as an Uplifting Force.”
The Ministers of Education from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, on the other hand, tackled the theme, “Preparing Future-Ready Learners” wherein they highlighted the importance of having “responsive and future-oriented education systems.”
DepEd said that the SDEM was first conceived in 2014 as a venue to share country practices, review priority areas, and agree on the general directions of the SEAMEO.
Meanwhile, the 51st SEAMEO Council Conference (SEAMEC) with the theme, “New Education Imperatives in a Post-COVID Era” was also held on Thursday. It was hosted by Singapore and was attended by 11 SEAMEO member countries, associate member countries, affiliate member countries, SEAMEO units, and SEAMEO partners virtually.