The Southeast Asian countries are diverse in terms of educational access, equity and quality. During the Second Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers held in Bandung, Indonesia in April 2016, the Ministers reviewed the progress made in moving forward the identified priorities of SEAMEO for the next 20 years and arrived at the following statements:
- We noted the need to move beyond our national boundaries, thinking as Southeast Asians, solving problems of the region while building on our individual country’s strengths;
- Recognized that the region has much to share in ensuring access and relevance of programmes to the needs of the learners;
- Recognized that the public engagement is very important to the success of programmes and reforms. Different modes and types of public engagement done in the region were explored, such as strengthening the school community partnership, promoting open and shared information and other modalities,
Needless to say, the Education Ministers acknowledge the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in reaching the unreached and in sharing quality education for teachers in the different levels of education through SEAMEO’s innovative technology but there is a need to be consolidate efforts in the spirit of SEAMEO family.
Globally, the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) paved its way in 2012 when it penetrated the web in making educational content and lectures available to anyone at any time and any place. Ivy League Schools have opened the MOOCS programmes which generated a lot of interest from the region.
MOOCs have consequently provided ways for lifelong learning and MOOCs is an innovation that is here to stay, but education leaders need to determine how it can contribute to SEAMEO 7 Education Agenda towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal no 4 in terms of technology, pedagogy, content and knowledge.
SEAMEO has introduced Online, blended and fully on-line courses and presently developing Open Educational Resources (OER) for the use of free and open courseware, pursuant to the 2012 World OER Congress, the Paris OER Declaration as well as conducting online lecture series and training programmes by the supports from centres and partners. SEAMEO Centres such as SEAMEO SEAMOLEC, SEAMEO INNOTECH and SEAMEO RIHED have been leading the discussions and utilization of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) before the emergence of MOOCs as its latest modality, SEAMEO plans to consolidate all the outstanding MOOCs providers in the region and document best practices.
SEA-MOOCs Network is developed to address some of the challenges of education such as limited education institution capacity; low education institution affordability due to uneven distribution; still many education institution that do not have adequate education resources and quality, higher quality education institution are still concentrated in the particular places; still low quality of equal and quality education services; and the low guarantee of meeting the needs and demands of education quality.
The SEA MOOCs Network is envisioned to contribute to capacity-building in the between and among countries, and among universities and MOEs in the region as well as to discuss the capacity of member countries to access, re-use and share Open Educational Resources.
The SEA MOOCs Network is organized to support the SEAMEO Seven Agenda and the Ministers Call for Action as stated in Bandung Statement and the Action Agenda. It will also support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly providing accessible quality education for all.
Specifically, the forum attempts to:
- Determine the status of MOOCs and ODEL (Open and Distance Learning) programmes in Southeast Asia countries.
- Take stock of the challenges and opportunities of using MOOCs in the Southeast Asia region to meet the SEAMEO & priority areas;
- Create a regional MOOCs network for promoting continuous/further dialogue; and
- Formulate strategies on how to provide a platform for Southeast Asia MOOCs (SEA MOOCs) and use it better for equitable and accessible quality education for all.
- Gain better understanding on Open Educational Resources and the Creative Common Licenses for a better MOOC in Southeast Asia.
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