June 6, 2021 – Supportive of academic and research endeavors of teacher education institutions (TEI), the Department of Education (DepEd) welcomed the accreditation of the Association of Southeast Asian Teacher Education Network (AsTEN) as an official entity affiliated with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

AsTEN is a network of premier leading TEIs of countries in the ASEAN, with the Philippine Normal University (PNU) serving as the Founding Chair and Permanent Secretariat.

Last September 2020, Undersecretary for Planning and Human Resource and Organizational Development and Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED) Chair Jesus L.R. Mateo officially endorsed the application of AsTEN as an ASEAN-associated entity, which was supported by the Commission on Higher Education and SOM-ED.

“AsTEN will have significant contributions towards strengthening the ASEAN education sector through the provision of quality teacher education programs for the region. With the many possibilities in the future of workforce, teacher development and welfare are important aspects to look into,” Usec. Mateo said.

On March 29, ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi informed AsTEN, through a letter, of their successful application to the list of ASEAN-associated entities, placing the TEI network under the Think Tanks and Academic Institutions category.

“AsTEN’s inclusion to the roster of entities associated with ASEAN is a milestone for the Network and the Philippine Normal University. This accreditation is given to organizations representing different sectors that initiate programs and projects to benefit ASEAN peoples. AsTEN represents the teacher education sector in ASEAN under the category of “Think Tanks.,” Dr. Bert Tuga, President of PNU, said.

Being an official entity, AsTEN will play a significant role in promoting ASEAN’s agenda, contributing towards the realization of ASEAN vision, recommending policies, and expressing views on significant events of regional and international concerns.

It can now also work with ASEAN on its ASEAN Community Vision 2025 that aims to work on the blueprint of the ASEAN community on political-security, economic, and socio-cultural community aspects, according to Dr. Tuga.

Aside from PNU, other member institutions of AsTEN include Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan (Brunei Darussalam), National Institute of Education (Cambodia), Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (Indonesia), National University of Laos (Laos PDR), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Malaysia), Yangon University of Education (Myanmar), National Institute of Education-Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Kasetsart University (Thailand), and University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vietnam).