June 18, 2021 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones was elected Vice President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) for 2021-2022 during the 51st SEAMEO Council (SEAMEC) Conference on Thursday.
“We are grateful to be elected as the Vice President of SEAMEC. This is a challenge for us to continue what we have started and improve it to continue education and to provide better future to our learners,” Secretary Briones said.
Briones was also voted the Vice Chairperson for the recently concluded SEAMEC Conference. As part of SEAMEO’s tradition, the current SEAMEC’s Vice President will assume presidency in the next Council Meeting in 2023.
On the other hand, Minister of Education of Singapore His Excellency (H.E.) Chan Chung Sing was voted as the President and Chairman of the SEAMEC.
H.E. Chan Chung Sing emphasized that the education sector in the region has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, as Ministers of Education from different countries managed to keep schools safe and ensure learning continuity.
“There have been so many silver linings that we should be proud of which will impact education for the better. We first adapt to digital learning, we accelerated our investment in this area, from infrastructure enhancement to device provisions, to e-learning resource developments, and more teachers are using educational technology to provide quality learning for students,” he said.
H.E. Sing cited blended learning approaches ensured learning opportunities will continue amidst the pandemic.
“Through a blended learning approach, where we can combine the best of technology where face-to-face interrupted, the crisis has brought the education opportunity closer together and closer to our stakeholders. With home-based learning, teachers work with parents and students to transit to the new arrangements,” he added.
Meanwhile, as the next host country, Briones proposed to host the 52nd SEAMEC in Dumaguete City in 2023.
“I would like to propose for the next round of meetings of SEAMEO Ministers in the Philippines, in the City of Dumaguete. It is very well-known as University Town and is the site of several excellent universities and research centers. At the same time, it is located, in one of the most beautiful islands of Philippines,” Briones said.