Re-igniting and sustaining the passion for the teaching profession in Southeast Asia is the most recent undertaking of SEAMEO INNOTECH through a regional forum held from 22-24 March 2011. The activity was funded through the Center’s regional education program (SIREP).

With the theme “Rediscovering the Passion for Teaching,” the forum, through sharing of insights, and exchange of information on teacher development policies, strategies, and programs, sought to determine strategies that would ensure and sustain the passion of teachers in teaching.

The forum also sought ideas for possible joint initiatives among the ministries/ departments of education on programs that would further sustain the commitment and motivation of Southeast Asian teachers.

Invited to the forum were award-winning teachers from SEAMEO member countries and senior officials from the respective Ministry/Department of Education. Resource panellists were invited also to share perspectives and talk about strategies on how to recognize and take care of “outstanding, committed and highly motivated teachers.”

Dr. Yolanda Quijano, Philippine Education Undersecretary for Programs and Projects, shared her perspective on sustaining positive energy and motivation for teaching. Mr. Onofre Pagsanghan, a faculty member of the High School Department at the Ateneo de Manila University, also came and talked about how to teach with passion.

Similarly, private sector representatives from the Philippines were invited to talk about programs that seek to recognize outstanding and committed teachers. The president of the Metrobank Foundation, Mr. Aniceto Sobrepeña, and the vice president of the Bato Balani Foundation, Mr. Brian Vincent Belen, both discussed their respective annual searches for outstanding teachers in the country.

On the first day of the forum, students of a local secondary school in the province of Laguna—the San Pedro Relocation Center National High School—were asked to join a session where they had the chance to interact with the teacher awardees and education ministry officials. The students shared how their favorite teachers inspired them to do well in their studies and to face the challenges that come their way.

Through the active deliberations and sharing, the regional forum was able to come up with a compilation of data on the following: (1) a general profile of teachers in Southeast Asia; (2) a success profile of a motivated, passionate and effective teacher; (3) current teacher development policies, strategies, and programs of education ministries to increase and sustain the passion for teaching; (4) and a draft plan for joint actions to increase/sustain passion for teaching.

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