The 9th Asean Senior Officials Meeting on Education (9th SOM-ED) kicked off in Vientiane yesterday, aiming to discuss the post-2015 vision of the 10-member regional bloc.

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) will also be evaluating the shortcomings and the progress made in implementing the five-year Work Plan (2011-15) on education cooperation in Asean.

Head of the Lao SOM delegation Assoc Prof. Dr Sisamone Sithirajvongsa said outcomes of the 9th SOM-ED would be submitted to the 8th Asean Education Ministers Meeting (8th ASED), which is scheduled to take place tomorrow in Vientiane, to be considered by the Asean education ministers.

Participants in the 9th SOM-ED are also set to discuss ways to address shortcomings in implementing cooperation activities under the current action plan.
The senior officials will be discussing cooperation activities which need to be carried out further, while exploring new areas for future cooperation, said Dr Sisamone, who is also Head of Office of the Ministry of Education and Sport.
The 9th SOM-ED discussion will contribute to drawing up the next five-year plan (2016-20).

The 9th SOM-ED is planning to draft a joint declaration on the implementation of the future cooperation plan on education in Asean, with the final draft to be submitted to the 8th ASED on September 11, Dr Sisamone said.

In her opening remarks, Lao Deputy Minister of Education and Sport Ms Sengdeuan Lachanthaboun said the meeting would provide a good opportunity to evaluate the situation in implementing cooperation activities under the current five-year action plan.
She said the lessons learnt in the past would contribute significantly to the effort of drawing up the next five-year plan and enhance its effectiveness.

Ms Sengdeuan said the Work Plan 2011-15 had helped in narrowing the education gap among Asean member states.
“The Work Plan on Education 2011-15 provides a framework for education cooperation activities that contribute to bridging the development gap that exists among Asean member states,” she told the meeting.
She called for the participants to give proper consideration to the post-2015 vision and identify priorities to be consolidated in the next five-year work plan.

Representatives from the Asean Secretariat, Secretariat of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation, as well as the Asean University Network also attended the meeting yesterday.

Five related meetings are also scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the 8th ASED. The related meetings include the Asean Plus Three Education Ministers Meeting, with the Asean education ministers to hold talks with the education ministers of the three dialogue partners of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
The second East Asia Summit Education Ministers Meeting will also be scheduled during this time.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on September 10, 2014