Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam called on all ASEAN countries to work together to build and implement appropriate and effective education policies, thereby restoring and maintaining the continuity of learning activities, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam during the opening of the 12th ASEAN Education Ministers’ Meeting in Hanoi on October 13.
Over the past two years, COVID-19 has affected at least 180 million children and adolescents in ASEAN countries, while 35 million students have been unable to attend schools due to closures.
In the 18 months to May 2022, schools had to close for an average of 136 days, which had a negative impact on the physical and mental development of students in the region, he noted, noting that the consequences of the pandemic could become more serious if countries do not act. immediately.
He said he hopes the region will be ready to respond to future challenges that could seriously harm and disrupt studies by building a more flexible and self-sustaining education system.
Deputy Prime Minister Dam said the 680 million-strong ASEAN region with the world’s fifth-largest economy has identified education as a top priority and one of three goals set out in the ASEAN Charter.
In Vietnam, considering that education is the first national policy, the country devotes at least 20% of its budget to education every year, he added.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son said that with the motto “education should be based on the principle of cooperation, collaboration and solidarity”, the Vietnam has chosen the theme “Joint efforts to reimagine learning and build the resilience of education systems in ASEAN and beyond in the new context” for its tenure as chair of education cooperation of ASEAN. ASEAN.
As president in 2022-2023, Vietnam has identified a number of priorities, focusing on caring for and protecting the mental health of learners, improving education on environmental protection and climate change, by ensuring access to equitable and quality education for learners, in particular disadvantaged groups, by promoting a global digital transformation and ensuring the cybersecurity of learners, and by promoting innovation in higher education to meet development requirements.
Over the past year, these priorities have been realized, he said, pledging that Vietnam will do its utmost to implement ASEAN’s priorities and major directions in education.
At the event, ASEAN education ministers shared the development of education and training in their respective countries. They also updated the implementation of the ASEAN Action Plan for 2021-2025.
They agreed on the need to reopen schools safely and increase the adaptability of the ASEAN education system in the face of future pandemics, disasters and emergencies. The need for digital transformation in ASEAN education systems and ensuring the mental health and well-being of students were also highlighted at the summit.
On October 14, Minister Son will chair the Sixth ASEAN+3 Education Ministers’ Meeting and the Sixth ASEAN-EAS Education Summit, which will bring together officials from ASEAN countries, the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and India./.