Asean education ministers meeting kicks off in Vientiane

The 8th Asean Education Ministers Meeting (8th ASED) kicked off yesterday in Vientiane to discuss future cooperation on human resource development among the regional bloc.

In his opening remarks, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Sports Dr Phankham Viphavanh said the meeting provided a platform for the Asean ministers to develop a vision, discuss future directions and identify priorities for educational cooperation in Asean.

In particular, the meeting discussed the formulation of the post-2015 Asean Work Plan on Education for 2016-2020.

The meeting is taking place at a time when 10 Asean member countries are preparing for the establishment of the Asean community by 2015.

“Your presence at this Asean Education Ministers Meeting represents the solidarity, good relations, peace and cooperation between Asean member states,” he told the meeting.

The minister stressed that the meeting was significant for the development of the education sector as well as human resources in all Asean member states, as it reaffirms Asean’s commitment to enhance cooperation in education aiming at narrowing development gaps within the bloc.

Participants also reviewed the progress made in implementing the action plan, which was adopted at the 7th Asean Education Ministers Meeting.

The meeting also considered the joint declaration of the 8th Asean Education Ministers Meeting, with its final report also set to be adopted by the respective ministers.

Topics tabled at yesterday’s meeting were prepared and discussed by Asean senior officials on education who met on Tuesday.

Today, Asean education ministers will meet with their counterparts from three dialogue partners – China, Japan and the Republic of Korea at the 2nd Asean +3 Education Ministers Meeting to discuss future cooperation and review cooperation progress over the past years.

On the same day [today], education ministers of Asean, the three dialogue partners and East Asia Summit (EAS) member countries will hold talks at their second meeting for future cooperation and take stock of the previous cooperation progress.

Shortly after the opening of the 8th ASED yesterday, the Asean State of Education Report 2013 was also launched.

The report, whose publications were financially supported by the European Union (EU), provides for the first time Asean-wide quantitative data and a qualitative analysis of primary, secondary, tertiary, and vocational education.

“We hope that the report will provide quality information to national policymakers in Asean and will be useful to assess the Asean educational landscape, share best practices and to establish further cooperation through dialogue,” Charge d’ Affairs a.i. Delegation of the EU to the Lao PDR Mr Michel Goffin told the official launching ceremony.
“We also hope that the report will not only stimulate regional cooperation in the education sector within Asean but also lay the basis for a potential policy dialogue between Asean and the European Union with a focus on regional mobility, lifelong learning and quality assurance in education.”

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on September 12, 2014