Badung, Bali, Indonesia, 17-18 September 2018 - Dr Didik Suhardi, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia (MoEC RI), officiated the Joint Opening Program of Governing Board Meetings of Seven SEAMEO Centres in Indonesia on 17 September 2018 at the Anvaya Beach Resort, Badung, Bali.
The seven SEAMEO Centres are the Regional Centre for Tropical Biology (BIOTROP), Regional Centre for Early Childhood and Parenting (CECCEP), Regional Centre for Food and Nutrition (RECFON), Regional Open Learning Centre (SEAMOLEC), and the three Regional Centres for Quality Improvement of Teachers and Education Personnel in Language (SEAQIL), Mathematics (SEAQIM) and Science (SEAQIS). The joint opening program for the GBM of the said Centres was the first time in the history of SEAMEO.
In his opening remarks, Dr Didik emphasized the importance of teaching the current generation of students about Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) as part of the 21st century skills that could drive the competitiveness of SEAMEO member countries in the global market. "It is imperative for the education system of SEAMEO Member Countries to adopt HOTS. Otherwise, the competencies of our human resources will be left behind by those from other countries toward our quest for a more sustainable development of our respective countries in particular, and our region in general," he added.
Present during the opening ceremony were Governing Board members and representatives of the 7 SEAMEO Centres, including their respective directors, deputy directors and staff, SEAMEO Secretariat Directors and Deputy Directors, Vice Governor of Bali Regency Government, Regent of Badung Representative, Head of Education Agency of Bali Province, and Head of Horticulture, Food Security and Plantation Agency of Bali Province.
After the opening program, BIOTROP proceeded to conduct its 56th GBM in the same hotel. The Centre's Governing Board approved 7 working papers and took note of 4 information papers discussed during the meeting. The Governing Board also agreed to conduct its 57th GBM in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2019. The Governing Board members and representatives present during the meeting were from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste.
Prior to the meeting, BIOTROP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Agricultural Vocational School (SMKN) 1 Petang and conducted a tree planting activity at the campus of the said school in Badung, Bali. Participants during the tree planting activity were Dr. Didik, SEAMEO Secretariat Deputy Director for Administration and Communication, BIOTROP Governing Board members and representatives, BIOTROP directors and deputy directors as well as those from 6 SEAMEO Centres in Indonesia. These events were was part of the implementation of the Centre's program on revitalizing agricultural vocationsl schools in Indonesia through fruit production (SMARTS-BE). Through the MoU, the Centre shall help develop the capacities of teachers and students of SMKN 1 Petang in fruit production, processing and entrepreneurship under the SMARTS-BE Progam which is being funded by the MoEC of Indonesia. Present also during the MoU signing and the tree planting activity were the Director of Training for Vocational Schools (PSMK), Regent of Badung Regency, and Heads of Bali Provincial Education Office and Bali Provincial Food Crops, Horticulture and Plantations Office.