SEAMEO INNOTECH convenes its International Conference every two years in response to the emerging education needs of the region. The Conference, first held in 1986, continues to serve as a platform for education stakeholders to discuss education concerns and collaborate for possible solutions.
In line with the Center’s vision to provide a better future for every learner in Southeast Asia, the conference focused on the theme of inclusive quality education. This year’s conference is one of the many programs and initiatives undertaken by the Center to modestly contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Inclusive Quality Education and the SEAMEO Priority Area 2 on addressing barriers to inclusion and access to basic learning opportunities through innovations in education delivery and management. The conference adopted the title, “Thriving in the Margins: Inclusive Education Reimagined.”
This year’s conference used the power of stories to explore inclusive education from the perspective of learners who are traditionally unseen, unheard, and underserved. Selected compelling stories of people thriving in the fringes of mainstream society were gathered and presented during the event. Said stories served as triggers for the participants to re-think and reflect on the current and good practices in implementing inclusive teaching and learning strategies in their individual contexts and realities. Discussions about the Four Pillars of Balanced and Inclusive Education by the Education Relief Foundation (ERF) provided framework for concurrent learning conversations which were facilitated using modified Open Space Technology (OST). Participants were encouraged to share and exchange ideas on education-related issues and concerns, to answer the big question: “How can we grow a learning community that welcomes everyone?”