TAGUIG CITY, May 24, 2024—The Department of Education (DepEd), through the International Cooperation Office (ICO), spearheaded the first of the 7-7-7 flagship programs under its Philippine Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council Presidency on May 23, 2024, Wednesday.

Under the SEAMEO Council Presidency of Vice President and Secretary of the Department of Education, Sara Z. Duterte, the Philippines is set to implement its seven (7) programs as response to the seven (7) priority areas in education identified in the SEAMEO Strategic Plan 2021-2030.

The first program is aimed at strengthening collaboration on Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE)

“These flagship programs are platforms for delegates from SEAMEO Member Countries to share knowledge, skills, and best practices for accessible and quality education in Southeast Asia,” Vice President and Secretary Duterte said in her message.

The delegates composed of education high officials and representatives from the SEAMEO Member Countries, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam, and ECCE specialists were welcomed by Undersecretary Gina O. Gonong and Usec. Michael Wesley T. Poa.

Delegates exchanged regional updates, best practices, and ideas to enhance cooperation in ECCE programs ensuring the safety, well-being, and education of children. These discussions will be compiled into a compendium on ECCE best practices.

“This compendium will be valuable in promoting policy actions among Southeast Asian countries, as we continue to work toward our vision of a better quality of life for Southeast Asians.” VP Sara noted.

During the two-day activity, delegates visited two National Child Development Centers (NCDCs) operated by the Local Government Units (LGUs) of Cainta and Muntinlupa. This provided an international learning experience where they observed class routines and best practices at the NCDCs.