The Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) was established as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Category II Institute in 2000, the year the United Nations (UN) proclaimed as the “International Year for the Culture of Peace.” The center’s chief mandate is to promote Education for International Understanding (EIU) toward a culture of peace in the Asia-Pacific region. In accordance with the UNESCO Recommendation Concerning EIU, Cooperation, and Peace and Education Relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974) and the Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights, and Democracy (1995), APCEIU has been carrying out a series of programs and activities ranging from training workshops to the development of educational resources.
To pursue its mission, APCEIU places a strong emphasis on a pedagogical approach to EIU. This approach integrates knowledge and understanding with the development of values and attitudes underpinning a culture of peace. The conceptual framework of EIU encompasses peace, human rights, intercultural understanding, and sustainability in a holistic manner.
Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) was founded in 1965 as a chartered regional organization mandated to promote cooperation in education, science, and culture in the Southeast Asian region. The organization’s core mission is to enhance regional understanding, cooperation, and unity of purpose among its member countries and to achieve a better quality of life through the establishment of networks and partnerships, through the provision of an intellectual forum for policy makers and experts, and through the promotion of sustainable human resource development.
The SEAMEO-APCEIU Collaboration on the Development of Learning Materials on Asian Folktales marks the commitment of the two organizations to enhance Asia’s diversity by developing a learning resource based on the folktales of Southeast Asia and Korea. Guided by APCEIU’s mandate to strengthen national and regional capacities in EIU and SEAMEO’s vision to implement “quality education for all” within the Southeast Asian region, this initiative aims to increase intercultural education between Southeast Asia and Korea by investigating regional folklores and folktales found in the primary-school textbooks of 12 Asian countries.
It is worth noting that this joint undertaking supports the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Vision 2015, a roadmap for regional integration that aspires to establish a political, economic, and sociocultural community in Southeast Asia within the next five years. Some of the specific priority objectives outlined in this regional blueprint include the cultivation of a stronger sense of Southeast Asian identity and the strengthening of education and cooperation between the ASEAN bloc and East Asian countries such as Korea.