Deputy PM Đam opens ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting 2022

Việt Nam, like other countries, has identified education as a top national policy. Vietnamese law requires that at least 20 per cent of the State budget be spent on education.

HÀ NỘI — Education plays a key role in socio-economic development that creates competitive resources, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam told at the 12th ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (ASED).

The 12th ASED began on Thursday, chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Kim Sơn. It was attended by ASEAN education ministers, representatives of the Secretariat of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation and the director of the ASEAN University Network, among others.

Việt Nam, like other countries, has identified education as a top national policy. Vietnamese law requires that at least 20 per cent of the State budget be spent on education.

Education is also a top priority of the ASEAN Community and is one of the three goals enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, said the Deputy PM.

Đam said that the COVID-19 pandemic affected all aspects of life over the past two years, causing a global learning crisis and inequality among children, especially in developing countries.

In ASEAN countries, the learning activities of at least 180 million children and young people were affected by school closures, and up to 35 million students were out of school.

Schools were closed for an average of 136 days in the past 18 months before May this year, negatively impacting students’ physical, mental and academic performance.

Việt Nam is the current chair of ASEAN education cooperation in 2022-23. Deputy PM Đam expressed his belief that educational leaders of ASEAN countries would jointly implement appropriate and effective education policies.

Each country in the ASEAN Community is ready to respond to future challenges that could seriously disrupt learning by building a more resilient education system.

He said the Vietnamese Government would support and create favourable conditions to promote actions agreed upon at the ASED, in line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the goals of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community by 2025.

Joint efforts

Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Kim Sơn said that the ministry had made several priorities during Việt Nam’s tenure as president of the education channel from 2022-23.

They include; protecting learners’ mental health; increasing education on environmental protection and climate change; ensuring quality access to education for learners, especially disadvantaged groups; promoting comprehensive digital transformation; ensuring cyber safety for learners; and innovation in higher education to meet the requirements of socio-economic development.

These priorities align with the five themes that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for countries to commit to in education and the five topics discussed at the Education Summit held in New York recently.

With the desire to continue to receive support from ASEAN countries, Sơn committed: “We will try our best to realise the major priorities and orientations of ASEAN education in the coming period”.

During the 12th ASED, educational ministers of ASEAN countries discussed each country’s education and training situation, shared practical lessons and experiences, and found cooperative solutions towards the sustainable educational development of each country, especially in the post-COVID-19 context.

The ASED updated activities implemented within the ASEAN Education Action Plan 2021-25 and other issues.

The ASED agreed on the necessity of safely reopening schools, overcoming knowledge loss and increasing the adaptability of the education system in ASEAN countries against future pandemics, disasters and emergencies.

Digitally transforming education systems in ASEAN and ensuring the mental health and well-being of the ASEAN Community were also highlighted at the ASED. — VNS