Tuesday, 25 June 2024 13:20

SEA-PLM Regional Secretariat participates in the 2024 Educational World Forum London in advancing foundational learning, emergence of AI, and addressing Climate Change.

Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim, SEAMEO Director, and Mr Alejandro Ibanez, SEA-PLM Project Manager, with Baroness Barran during the APAC breakfast meeting at the Educational World Forum in London 2024. Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim, SEAMEO Director, and Mr Alejandro Ibanez, SEA-PLM Project Manager, with Baroness Barran during the APAC breakfast meeting at the Educational World Forum in London 2024.

The 2024 Education World Forum, held from May 19 to 23 at the Queen Elizabeth II Center in London, brought together key figures from the global education sector to discuss and shape the future of education. Among the participants were the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metric (SEA-PLM) Regional Secretariat program Co-Chair, Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim and  Mr Alejandro S. Ibañez. Their participation underscored SEA-PLM's role in contributing to global discussions tackling important issues in education such as foundational learning, emergence of AI, and addressing Climate Change. The participation in the forum was made possible with the support from the UK Government through the UK International Development under the ASEAN-UK SAGE programme. 

 

Datuk Dr Habibah participated as a member of the panel during the APAC breakfast meeting, along with Baroness Barran, Professor Sir Steve Smith, and Mr Craig Farmer (left to right). 

 

The forum kicked off with the APAC breakfast meeting, hosted by Baroness Barran MBE, the UK Minister for the School and Student FInance. This gathering offered an opportunity for ministers and senior delegates to connect and discuss regional educational developments. Datuk Dr Habibah delivered a presentation on the SEA-PLM program, sharing insights from the SEA-PLM 2019 report and its implications for education policies and practices in Southeast Asia. Moreover, her presentation emphasized the program’s alignment with the Supporting the Advancement of Girls’ Education (SAGE) initiative, a collaboration aimed at enhancing educational opportunities for girls in the region, a program that received support from the UK government. 

 

 Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim and Mr Alejandro S. Ibañez represent the SEAMEO Secretariat and SEA-PLM Programme in the Education World Forum

 

In a series of side meetings, the SEA-PLM team engaged with delegations from Cambodia and Lao PDR, focusing on the unique educational challenges and priorities of these countries. The meeting with Cambodia’s delegation, led by His Excellency Mr Oung Borat, Secretary of State and Head of the Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, highlighted the need to improve foundational skills in early grades to prepare students for SEA-PLM assessments. The discussion also highlighted the importance of elevating girls’ education and integrating AI and digital skills to bridge educational gaps. 

 

Side meetings of Datuk Dr Habibah and Mr Ibanez with the Cambodia (left), led by Mr His Excellency Mr Oung Borat, Secretary of State and Head of the Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister of the MoEYS, and Lao PDR (right), headed by His Excellency Prof. Dr Phout Simmalavong, Minister of the MoES.

 

Similarly the meeting with Lao PDR’s delegation, led by His Excellency Prof. Dr Phout Simmalavong, Minister of Education and Sports, revealed the struggles faced by primary schools, particularly those serving diverse ethnic groups. The focus on early childhood education, teacher training, and ensuring access to education for special needs students were key areas that the Ministry intends to tackle in order to advance education in the country. . These dialogues not only fostered mutual understanding but also laid the groundwork for future collaborations to enhance educational quality and equity. 

 

Side meeting and main forum at the Education World Forum 2024

 

The Education World Forum underscored the critical importance of foundational skills as building blocks for human development, emphasizing their relevance to global challenges like climate change and the rise of AI. The forum also highlighted the “Human” side of education, advocating for a return to its philosophical roots, values, and morality. This holistic approach resonates with the SEA-PLM team, reinforcing the commitment to promoting foundational learning and humanizing education in Southeast Asia and beyond.

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