Southeast Asia Teachers Competency Framework (SEA-TCF)

Teaching in Southeast Asia has presented a unique challenge, with wide discrepancies in teacher training and competency levels between countries. The welfare of students had to take precedence, leading to a need for an across-the-board solution that measured standards for teachers and allowed them to be consistent in their educational output. As such, the Teacher Competency Framework was devised as a comprehensive guide that outlines minimum knowledge and skills required for effective teaching.

It not only addresses the needs of individual countries but also provides unifying objectives that adheres to the Philippines’ Professional Standard for Teachers.


This publication is a product of a regional collaboration involving eleven Ministries of Education in Southeast Asia (10 ASEAN Countries plus Timor Leste) working together on a framework to develop a Southeast Asia Teachers Competency Framework (SEA-TCF).


The Competency Framework for Southeast Asian Teachers is a set of skills, knowledge, behaviors, and attributes which the eleven Ministries of Education have agreed that teachers in their respective countries need to have. This competency framework for teachers in Southeast Asia consists of four essential competencies identified by key high officials from the eleven Ministries of Education as well as experts in teacher education from the 11 countries.



Benefits of the Southeast Asian Teachers Competency Framework


  1. To serve as a guide in teacher professional development toward realizing 21st Century Skills and practices within a context that is regionally appropriate and in line with global best practices. By checking off points on the SEA-TCF scale, teachers can build upon emerging global best practices that are regionally appropriate while concurrently implementing new teaching styles within their classrooms.
  2. Support the ASEAN Community and regional integration, as well as provide a solid foundation and guidelines for teacher exchange and teacher mobility within the Southeast Asia region. This lays down solid foundations for global knowledge transfer and cross-cultural learning, leading to a greater appreciation of this diverse region. Having teachers move around Southeast Asia has tremendous potential benefits not only in terms of educational outcomes, but also in creating new forms of collaborative networks between countries with different educational systems.
  3. This SEA-TCF is considered an important document because it was designed for Southeast Asian teachers by Southeast Asian teachers, keeping in mind the national and regional context which are unique to the region. area. This creates a uniquely tailored resource which ensures that those in teaching roles have universally applicable tools to draw upon when responding to specific educational needs.
  4. There are numerous research studies done on the teachers standards competencies framework in the Philippines, and it has also been field-tested to ensure that the language and concepts are clear to all teachers to ensure proper buy-in, ready comprehension and ease in application. This attention to detail guarantees a smoother transition to applying these standards into practice, enabling teachers to best foster a learning environment in their classrooms. The SEA-TCF is designed with its users in mind, so that everyone involved can properly invest in the goal of providing the best educational experience possible.



A Detailed Look at the Competency Framework for Teachers in Southeast Asia


It is our belief that quality education can be achieved through quality teachers. It is our hope that this SEA-TCF will serve as a guide for Southeast Asian teachers to improve their performance to bring about the quality education for all students in Southeast Asia.



Become a Better Teacher Every Day

The Southeast Asia competency framework for teachers offers a refreshingly holistic perspective for teachers. Rather than just simply focusing on the technical aspects of teaching, the framework encourages teachers to strive for excellence in three essential areas: knowing oneself, practicing human goodness, and mastering their teaching practice. By developing these skills, teachers can not only grow in their profession but also become positive examples of integrity, balance, and empathy in and beyond the classroom. Ultimately, becoming a better teacher every day is an aspiration that all Southeast Asian teachers can proudly embrace.



Know and Understand What I Teach


At the core of the teacher competency framework is the belief that effective teaching involves knowing and understanding what one teaches, from deepening and broadening knowledge on subjects taught, to staying up to date with education trends, policies, and curricula. An awareness of local, national, regional, and global developments is also essential for teachers to properly respond to changes within their classroom environment. Working together can ensure that teachers receive the support needed for them to develop the skills required for working in an ever-evolving educational landscape.



Help My Students Learn


The goal of the Southeast Asia teacher competency framework is to help teachers promote academic excellence by encouraging engaged and knowledgeable learners in their classrooms. This goal can be achieved by truly getting to know one’s students, understanding the best teaching and learning strategies for them, and providing meaningful feedback about how they are learning and what areas need improvement. Educators need to keep this objective in mind when planning their lessons and creating assessments or activities; not just teaching for the sake of teaching, but rather personalizing instruction based on individual student needs.



Engage the Community


The teachers competency framework seeks to foster mutual respect and understanding by helping people find common ground in shared experiences. Through this framework, educators are empowered to create meaningful relationships with families through effective sharing of information, establishment of clear communication within the educational environment, and mutual participation in activities at the school level. The goal is for teachers to create a safe and supportive learning environment that encourages students to be their best selves and allows everyone involved to have their voices heard.


All these competencies make up a strong foundation for teachers who want to offer a quality education experience to their pupils in Southeast Asia and help foster joyful learners.


The competency framework for teachers in Southeast Asia provides educators with an invaluable resource for understanding the skills and knowledge needed to cultivate classroom environments in line with 21st century learning concepts.

Other Resources
  • INNOTECH eNewsletter – August 2014
  • MT4T: Edmodo (Video)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Adult Education from a Gender Perspective – Part I
  • MCDP Manual (Lao) - Portrait format
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Southeast Asia Teachers Competency Framework (2018)

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