PEHIN Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Education, attended the 8th Asean Education Ministers Meeting (ASED), the 2nd Asean Plus Three Education Ministers Meeting (APT EMM) and the 2nd East Asia Summit Education Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM) on September 11 to 12.
At the 8th ASED, the Asean education ministers agreed that connectivity, mobility, human resource development, IT and English Language training are important areas that would help narrow the development gaps.
The ministers also agreed that 2015 would be a landmark year, considering that the Asean Five-Year Work Plan on Education (2011-2015) is due to be completed, and in a global context, the Millennium Development Goals and Education For All Goals will be due by 2015.
The ministers also noted the importance of having a clear vision for the future, and thanked the Asean Secretariat for facilitating the ASED/SOM-ED Post-2015 envisioning exercise.
This initiative contributed towards the development of the post-2015 community vision, as requested by Asean leaders through the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on the Asean Community Post-2015 Vision during the 23rd Summit.
The ministers further agreed to submit the proposed new education elements to the Asean Coordinating Council (ACC) through the Working Group on the Post-2015 vision.
Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar invited Asean member states to participate in two upcoming events in Brunei Darussalam – a four-day Early Childhood Care and Education International Conference on November 27 to 30 and the Creative, Innovative Products and Technological Advancement 2015 (CIPTA 2015).
At the 2nd APT EMM, the ministers welcomed the launch of the Asean State of Education Report 2013 and noted the importance of having a baseline against which to measure future performance in the area of education cooperation.
The ministers also agreed that education cooperation under APT requires a coordination mechanism.
In addition, given the education cooperation activities under Asean, Asean Plus Three and the East Asia Summit, ministers requested that senior Education officials look at coordinating mechanisms to avoid duplication and ensure that the three groupings complement each other.
At the 2nd EAS EMM, the ministers reaffirmed that the objective of education cooperation within the EAS until 2015 would be on improving the quality of education, harmonising education systems and promoting student mobility in the EAS participating countries and across the region.
The ministers welcomed Malaysia to host the 9th ASED, which will be held back-to-back with the 3rd APT EMM and 3rd EAS EMM in 2016.