INNOTECH holds Regional Research Forum on ASEAN Integration

From 27 to 29 June 2018, SEAMEO INNOTECH conducted a two-part Regional Research Forum (RRF) in Quezon City, Philippines as part of the two ongoing research projects of the Center on ASEAN Integration. These researches are on The Change Management Response of Southeast Asian Ministries of Education and Regional Research on Teacher Preparation in Response to ASEAN Integration. The 3-day forum was participated by 12 education policy and teacher education experts representing 6 SEAMEO member countries. 

“We recognize that ASEAN Integration is a continuous process…it will continue to grow,” said Mr. Philip J. Purnell, Manager of the Educational Research and Innovation Office of SEAMEO INNOTECH, in his welcome remarks. 

Each Southeast Asian country has its own ways of addressing and institutionalizing ASEAN Integration in their respective education system. This is what the Center aims to document and analyze through its research project, Regional Research on Increasing ASEAN Integration: The Change Management Response of Southeast Asian Ministries of Education. Through visits to the different Southeast Asian countries, the research team of INNOTECH has gathered cases of how the Ministries of Education respond to the demands and challenges of ASEAN Integration. They looked into the innovations the countries have pioneered, the status of these programs, and challenges they faced and still need to address in implementing the programs. The team also looked at the process of how each country implemented the changes in their system. The first day of the RRF focused on validating the results of this project. The regional framework on the change management strategies, which was developed based on these results, were also consulted to the group. 

The next two days of the RRF, on the other hand, focused on gathering data and recommendations for the Center’s Regional Research on Teacher Preparation in Response to ASEAN Integration. The research aims to examine the initiatives of the participating Southeast Asian countries in preparing their teachers for ASEAN Integration. Through this forum, the participants were able to share issues and challenges of teachers in their respective countries in terms of their readiness to the envisioned regional integration. They highlighted the importance of making teachers become more aware of ASEAN. They also expressed the need to integrate such lessons in teacher education curriculum thereby allowing them to be better advocates of “ASEANness” in their respective countries. They also mentioned about the need to build a task force and develop standards and frameworks for Southeast Asian teacher education in order to build better connection and linkages among the countries. The SEAMEO INNOTECH’s Weaving Identities Toolkit or a resource that aims to promote the region’s shared values, history, culture and heritage to teachers and the entire education community was also presented during the forum.

(Explore Weaving Identities here 

“There is a lot of diversity in the Southeast Asian region that we all need to take into account,” said Dr. Ramon C. Bacani, Center Director of SEAMEO INNOTECH, in his closing message. He expressed his hope for the different countries to continue and strengthen their partnership to move the ASEAN Integration forward. “Much work needs to be done, but we hope that we can continue to count on you,” he added. 

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