Youth Concerns Presented at SEAMEO Center Directors Meeting 2023
SEAMEO INNOTECH Center Director, Prof. Leonor Magtolis Briones advocated for the youth’s concerns at the SEAMEO Center Directors Meeting 2023 (CDM) held in Bangkok, Thailand. This annual gathering brings together officials and representatives from 26 SEAMEO Regional Centers, associate member countries, and affiliate educational institutions and organizations, fostering collaboration and innovation in Southeast Asian education.
During her presentation, Prof. Briones highlighted the pressing issues that young people face in education across Southeast Asia. These issues had been discussed during the INNOTECH Youth Summit 2023 held in the Philippines in June. The summit witnessed the participation of over 200 youth leaders and educators from ten ASEAN countries, engaging in discussions on various critical topics such as civic engagement, digital learning, entrepreneurship, and environmental resilience, among others.
Prof. Briones put forth significant proposals. She advocated for the widespread dissemination of the Southeast Asia Youth Call to Action on Transforming Education, and she proposed the inclusion of a dedicated youth program officer in the SEAMEO Secretariat. Both proposals were noted by the plenary and would be tackled further at the SEAMEO High Officials Meeting towards the year’s end.
Prof. Briones highlighted the crucial role of youth in transforming education and added that education is the cornerstone of empowering the youth. She applauded the dedication and innovation displayed by young participants during the INNOTECH Youth Summit, where they assumed leadership in discussions and introduced their innovative ideas for enhancing education. Dr. Briones reiterated her commitment to conveying these youthful concerns to SEAMEO, regional centers, and Ministries of Education across Southeast Asia.
“Through the INNOTECH Youth Forum we held, where the youth themselves led the discussions, identified challenges and opportunities, and introduced their own innovations, we saw how dedicated they were in making drastic and much-needed changes in their own educations and futures. Now, as their elders, we promised to bring their concerns to the SEAMEO organization, all regional centers, and their respective Ministries of Education. Today, we took the first key step to fulfilling our promise of bringing those concerns to those policymakers and decision-makers across the SEA region,” Prof. Briones emphasized.