Module 1

Module 1: Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (SDEM)

This is a high-profile strategic dialogue among Southeast Asian education ministers. This dialogue will be facilitated by internationally well-known eminent persons, world-class educators, or peer ministers of education. Through this strategic dialogue, Southeast Asian education ministers will share ideas on regional frameworks for common standards in education and HRD.

Module 1: Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (SDEM)

Proposed Venue

Name of Contact Person and
Contact Details:
Dr Ramon C Bacani
Centre Director
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman
Quezon City 1101, Philippines
Tel: +63 (2) 928 7348
Fax: +63 (2) 921 0224
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Proposed Date of Implementation 13 September 2014

I. Background

SEAMEO College is one of the SEAMEO initiatives under the 2011-2020 SEAMEO Strategic Plan. It is a platform for high-level discussions on forward-looking issues and concerns to help prepare Southeast Asian Education for the challenges of the future. It consists of a series of forums and research and development activities. Four modules are developed based on identified and prioritized needs of the target groups including education ministers, high-level education officials, education administrators and practitioners, and youth leaders. SEAMEO College supports the realization of the ASEAN community

The implementation of SEAMEO College was unanimously approved by the SEAMEO Council in January 2013. The SEAMEO Secretariat serves as the Executing Agency while the SEAMEO Centres are the Implementing Agencies. The project receives funding from the Asian Development Bank through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR).

The SEAMEO College Module 1 or the Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (SDEM) envisions an authentic dialogue, with less structure and formality, and serves as a meeting point for practice and policy, reflection and sharing among the Education Ministers. Reflection and open discussion is expected to lead towards cooperation driving forward the SEAMEO education development agenda.

SDEM is led by SEAMEO INNOTECH, a regional centre which aids in technology-based educational development and other special programmes addressing specific areas of concern in the Southeast Asian educational scenario. The conduct of SDEM also includes collaboration with other SEAMEO Centres and the SEAMEO Secretariat.

II. Objective and Theme

The SDEM aims to yield a more dynamic regional policy development process through Ministerial Dialogues.

The process for reaching consensus and bringing together the Ministers of Education, and the actions and decisions coming out of the discussions are vital in defining a shared vision and path for education development in Southeast Asia. Reflection and communication among the education leaders is as important as the agreements or policies that may ensue from the dialogue. The one- day informal ministerial dialogue aims to:

1. establish a more dynamic policy development process for knowledge sharing and joint action;
2. facilitate discussion and reflection on key education development issues; and
3. document discussions and disseminate agreements which will provide inputs for SEAMEO agenda and programme setting.

For the first SDEM in 2014, the proposed theme for the dialogue is Post-2015 Education Agenda in Southeast Asia. This theme springs from the resolution of the 47th SEAMEO Council Conference on

21 March 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam to focus efforts and initiatives of SEAMEO on the Millennium

Development Goals (MDGs) and the Post-2015 Education Agenda. The year 2015 marks the conclusion of the Education for All (EFA) movement which has been the flagship agenda of education programmes around the world for the past two decades.

III. Methodology

The goal of the Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers through an informal setting or retreat is to reflect together and exchange ideas. The informal retreat would therefore adopt a more collegial discussion, enriched with new knowledge and information drawn from sound research and analysis with a regional perspective.

While the dialogue need not set out a definite expectation of signing agreements or formal declarations, an outcome document coming out of the SDEM would be desirable. The SDEM documentation may include some new initiatives, call for further action or focused effort as well as recognizing opportunities for cooperation among the SEAMEO Member Countries.

The SDEM agreements (if any) calling for action may form part of future SEAMEO and Southeast Asia agenda on education. Following SEAMEO practice, preliminary research and consultations will be conducted prior to the Ministerial Dialogue. Packaged reports, summaries and other information/knowledge materials on the theme will be prepared in advance.

The programme for the SDEM proposes to balance the typical structure and formality of the formal meetings with informal roundtable discussions and small group sessions. A resource person and/or moderator of appropriate level and qualifications will be engaged to facilitate the Ministerial Dialogue.

IV. Outputs and Outcomes

As a dialogue among Education Ministers in the region, the agreements and outcomes of the SDEM would impact all players in the education sector.

The one-day Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers is expected to achieve the following outputs:

  • an established policy development process for knowledge through sharing and joint action;
  • essential key education development issues reflected by the Ministers of Education; and
  • agreed upon inputs for SEAMEO agenda and programme setting.

VI. Target Participants

The participants include the Education Ministers and designated senior education officials of SEAMEO Member Countries. Invited guests and observers may be invited in consultation with the Host Country and the SEAMEO Member Countries.