Call for stronger ASEAN partnership

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman attended the 11th ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (11TH ASED) held virtually yesterday with the theme ‘Transforming Education The ASEAN Way: Forging Partnerships in the Age of Global Disruptions’. The conference was hosted by Department of Education of the Philippines in its capacity as Chair of the meeting.

The meeting was officiated by Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary Isidiro Lapena, who acknowledged the profound effects of the COVID-19 on ASEAN member states’ education system. Secretary Isidiro Lapena also hoped that ASEAN would embrace the challenges as an opportunity to move forward in equipping the future generation with skills, adaptation as well as resilience and called for a more robust partnership between the ASEAN member states, ASEAN dialogue partners and its stakeholders in mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the education sector.

The bi-annual ministerial meeting aimed to revisit commitments under the education sector of ASEAN. During the meeting, ministers of education from ASEAN member states shared educational priorities and direction especially in addressing the impact of COVID-19. Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah shared Brunei Darussalam’s concerted effort with various key stakeholders in realising the expected outcomes for digital education. The minister underlined that the Ministry of Education (MoE) focussed on a whole-of-nation approach, especially in ensuring equitable access to digital learning for students, particularly for the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

Permanent Secretary (Core Education) Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Core Education) Aliuddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman and officials from the MoE of Brunei Darussalam also attended.

Prior to the ministerial session, there was a convening of a senior officials-level session of the meeting, held virtually on November 18. The deputy permanent secretary represented Brunei Darussalam.

During the meeting, senior officials were updated on the development of initiatives, work plan and activities under the education sector of ASEAN. The session also saw sharing of best practices and recovery plans of respective ASEAN member states in education as the response towards the impact of COVID-19.

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman. PHOTO: MOE