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Saturday, June 22, 2024

SEAMEO INNOTECH Celebrates 75 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between the Philippines and Thailand

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The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) welcomed educators, His Excellency, Tull Traisorat, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Royal Thai Embassy in the Philippines, and members of the diplomatic corps for the inaugural event of the Symposium on Strengthening Skills Through Multilateral Cooperation: A Retrospective on the 75 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and the Philippines on June 10, 2024.

The Philippines and Thailand have fostered a strong connection through the 75 years of diplomatic relations. Their partnership has led to collaborative endeavors in various areas, such as education, training, and economic cooperation. “Education is one of the cornerstones of our friendship,” H.E. Millicent Paredes shares in a message to the two nations for this celebration. “Today, we thank and honor Filipino and Thai educators, students, and partners in educational development such as SEAMEO for their services and contribution to our respective nations and peoples,” he added.

INNOTECH Center Director Leonor Magtolis Briones welcomed the visiting delegates and participants of the symposium. “As we reflect on these achievements, our shared journey has clearly been one of growth, learning, and mutual support. The Treaty of Friendship between Thailand and the Philippines has provided a solid foundation for SEAMEO INNOTECH to thrive and innovate, addressing the evolving educational needs of our region,” Briones reflected. “We envision a future where our collaborative efforts continue to lead to transformative educational experiences, where we harness the power of technology and innovation to address the challenges of tomorrow,” she added.

In line with this sentiment, the inaugural event harnessed the potential of multilateral cooperation as a catalyst for skills development and capacity-building. His Excellency, Tull Traisorat, expressed his profound gratitude towards the two nations, and how INNOTECH, Colombo Plan Staff College, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) of Thailand’s Ministry of Education worked together to launch the event. “This [event] is a reflection of the great cooperation among international organizations, government agencies, and the private sector,” he stated in his speech. 

TESDA’s Deputy Director General, Rosanna Urdaneta, presented a keynote speech on behalf of Sec. Suharto Mangudadatu. Ms. Urdaneta looked back into the long history of the Philippines and Thailand, and shared the current programs of the organization, “Today, we stand on a threshold of a new era,” she stated. “One that calls for innovative solutions and strengthened collaborations. By leveraging our strengths and fostering further collaboration, we can address current issues in our nations.”

These objectives were achieved through different learning sessions during the event, each helmed by different prominent members of organizations in Thailand and the Philippines. Executive Director El Cid H. Castillo of TESDA led the discussions regarding the digital transformation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and how the continuous partnership between the two nations can lead to more technological advancement and opportunities in the future.  

Furthering green technology in TVET, Mrs. Tankamol Chimme, the Director for Information Support for Teachers and Educational Personnel of Private Vocational Education Division of the OVEC shared the best practices of making TVET more environment-friendly globally.

Dr. Diosdado San Antonio of INNOTECH’s Educational Research and Innovation Office tackled sustainability through educational innovations. He explored how cutting-edge educational practices and technologies can enhance learning outcomes and prepare students for the demands of a rapidly evolving job market. 

Achieving access and equity in TVET through continuous multilateral cooperation is the last learning session in the event. Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasighe, the Director General of Colombo Plan Staff College, addressed and shared strategies that can lead to equal access in TVET programs.

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