SEAMEO Secretariat Head visits INNOTECH

“We at SEAMEO, should strive to ensure that the Organization makes impactful interventions in the region,” said Datuk Dr. Habibah Abdul Rahim, newly-appointed Director of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat. Datuk Dr. Habibah made the remarks during her visit to SEAMEO INNOTECH, the SEAMEO Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology based at the UP Diliman Campus in Quezon City. The one-day visit to INNOTECH is the last leg of her visits to the SEAMEO regional centers in the Philippines.

Datuk Dr. Habibah was appointed Director of the SEAMEO Secretariat on 01 April 2023. She was formerly the Director General of Education of the Ministry of Education of Malaysia.

Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones, Center Director of INNOTECH and former Philippine Secretary of Education, welcomed Datuk Dr. Habibah and party to the Center and presided over the briefing on the INNOTECH programs and services for the Secretariat Director. During the three-hour meeting, Dr. Briones and the INNOTECH Management Team presented the projects and activities being conducted under the three program areas. INNOTECH serves the Southeast Asian education community through research and innovation, capacity building and professional development of educators, and knowledge management and information sharing.

During the briefing, Dr. Briones outlined some of the new initiatives being undertaken under her leadership, such as balancing focus on science, mathematics, and technology with arts, humanities, and civics. INNOTECH would also pursue regional programs to be able to garner the best practices and success stories from other Southeast Asian countries, which would resonate with the needs and concerns of other developing countries in Asia.

Dr. Briones further discussed the importance of cooperation and dialogue with the region’s Ministries of Education, and the need to ensure their continued engagement. During the brief visit, Datuk Dr. Habibah was able to address the participants of the INNOTECH course, Southeast Asian School Leadership Program (SEA SLP) with school heads and principals from the 11 Southeast Asian countries. The course is funded through the SEAMEO Education Development Fund which supports the Center’s regular training programs.

SEAMEO is a regional, intergovernmental organization established in 1965 among the Southeast Asian countries for the purpose of promoting cooperation in science, education and culture among the Southeast Asian Countries. The Philippines is among its founding members. At present, SEAMEO comprises 11 Member States, composed of the ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste. SEAMEO also has 26 regional centers, a network and Secretariat undertaking training, research and information dissemination on various specialized areas of education, science and culture.

INNOTECH was formally established in January 1970 during the 4th SEAMEO Council Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Center ran its programs in Saigon, Vietnam, until 1975. Political developments in the region prompted INNOTECH to move to different Southeast Asian capitals. In 1976, the Philippines agreed to host INNOTECH on a temporary basis, which later became permanent as approved during the 15th SEAMEO Council Conference in February 1980 in Manila. INNOTECH’s mission is to provide technology-oriented learning services, research-based solutions, information sharing and knowledge management to enable the Southeast Asian education community to respond to current and future needs of education in the region. INNOTECH pioneered in developing innovative, alternative learning delivery modalities, cost-effective materials and technology applications in education.

Further information on the Center may be accessed through its website: www.seameo-innotech.org


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