On 21 March 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Minister of Education, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, along with the Minister of Education and Training from Vietnam, H.E. Prof. Dr. Pham Vu Luan, and the Director of the SEAMEO Secretariat, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vitthaya Jeeradechakul, presented a report on the 47th SEAMEC Meeting.
The Education Minister of Thailand said that the participants of this meeting considered and came up with resolutions on several issues. However, an issue that many participants emphasized was that of life-long education management. The participants proposed that this should be given to a specific group of people but not everyone. Yet, educational procedures should stimulate all people to realize the importance of education. For instance, Lao people prefer working to studying. However the higher the education they have, the more income they will earn. Moreover, IT is playing a crucial role in facilitating education access despite low technology in some countries.
Thailand has proposed that all member countries should cooperate with one another to develop software and applications on education which consume a lot of the budgets in each country. These products could be sold at reasonable prices. By so doing, education for all will become more possible. Moreover, seniors should learn how to develop themselves so that they will be able to earn an income when they are retired and can therefore remain independent.
In the next two years, education should be ready for the ASEAN Community. ASEAN people should have solidarity and unity with education as a mobilizing mechanism. The Ministry of Education of Thailand then proposed that ASEAN students should be allowed to study in ASEAN countries because they will develop skills in English and the native language of the country where they are taking courses. In addition, the students will learn about the traditional culture of the country where they are living.
As the chairperson of the SEAMEO Regional Center for Lifelong Learning (CELLL), the Vietnamese Education and Training Minister will act swiftly to promote the work of the Center and coordinate with other SEAMEO regional centers to support their work practically and effectively.
In terms of preparation for the ASEAN Community, the Vietnamese Education and Training Minister said that he would encourage educators to be active while maintaining the unity of ASEAN people and the identities of individual nations in this region.