As we all know, the outbreak of Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19) has been declared as world’s pandemic and the virus has now spread to many countries and territories, including the Southeast Asia region. One of the first actions were closing schools and universities as the protection of children and educational facilities is particularly important. No country is fully prepared to face these educational disruptions.
SEAMOLEC as the regional centre for open and distance learning finds it is important for all Southeast Asian countries to learn from each other on how to overcome challenges during the outbreak.As series of activities related to its 23rd GBM, SEAMOLEC hosted an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Webinar entitled “Learning from Southeast Asia: Response on Education in Coping with Covid-19” on October 20, 2020 at 13.30-16.00 hrs. (GMT+7).
The webinar was opened by a welcome remark from SEAMOLEC Director, Dr Alpha Amirrachman who thanked all speakers, participants, and committees for contributing to the online event. The agenda continued by a special remark from SEAMEO Secretariat Director, Dr Ethel Agnes P Valenzuela. In her remarks, she highlighted that the silver lining of this pandemic is the transformation from regular to digital learning and how people getting more and more familiar to ICT.
As keynote speaker, SEAMOLEC invited the Director of Teacher and Education Personnel for Basic Education, the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) of Indonesia, Dr. Rachmadi Widdiharto, who also delivered the official opening remarks. He briefly presented the learning policy in Indonesia set by the MoEC during the pandemic, and what the country has been doing in running its education in coping with the Covid-19.
The panel session presented 4 speakers who are experts from 4 Southeast Asian countries, they were: (1) Assoc. Prof. Dr Wan Zuhainis Binti Saad from the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia, (2) Ms Tham Yoke Chun from the Ministry of Education of Singapore, (3) Asst. Prof Dr Anothai Ngamvichaikit from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) of Thailand, and (4) Ms Hendri Puspa Martasari from ICT Center of the MoEC of Indonesia.
After all speakers presenting, there was a question and answer session provided for all participants to ask. All speakers received interesting questions and gave responses satisfactorily. The webinar was closed by a summary remark by SEAMOLEC Deputy Director for Programme, Mrs. Prakaikan Schneitz. The event was held smoothly and resulted fruitfully.