Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte was elected on Thursday as the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) president for 2023-2025.
SEAMEO is a regional inter-governmental organization established in 1965 among governments of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) countries to promote regional cooperation in education, science, and culture in the region.
The SEAMEO maintains its work and aspirations for development with peoples of the region to make lives better in quality and equity in education, preventive health education, culture and tradition, information and communication technology, languages, poverty alleviation, and agriculture and natural resources.
SEAMEO convened in Manila on February 8, for its 52nd council conference.
Brunei Darussalam’s Education Minister Her Excellency Datin Seri Setia Dr. Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Md Salleh was also elected as vice president.
Duterte said as the new SEAMEO council president and chairperson, she will continue to combat the education challenges and work on programs to fill the learning losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte added that the Philippines accepts the challenge of leading its Southeast Asian counterparts to post-pandemic recovery.
“While pursuing much-needed reforms in our education systems, ensuring that these fit within our Priority Education Agenda outlined in the SEAMEO Strategic Plan 2021-2030,” Duterte added.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve as the President of the SEAMEO Council. More importantly, it is an inspiration to work harder and more passionately toward bringing impactful changes to the way we prepare our future workforce,” Duterte added.
“For decades, SEAMEO has been a proactive partner of the Department of Education by offering multiple forms of support to our teachers, educators, researchers, students, and schools through its three regional centers; Regional Center of Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH); Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA); and Regional Centre for Public Health, Hospital Administration, Environmental and Occupational Health (SEAMEO TROPMED),” Duterte said.
Duterte also emphasized the Philippines’ commitment to support educational endeavors that will benefit ASEAN students and the whole Southeast Asian region community.
“We commit to facilitating a regional cooperation mechanism that will enable the entire ASEAN education ecosystem to realize the theme, “Transformation through Learning Exchange: Building Resilient Systems as a Region,” Duterte said.
“Through our recently launched MATATAG education agenda, the Philippine Department of Education aims to prioritize our people’s improved access to quality, equitable and inclusive education,” she added.