The 2021 SSAEM Conference successfully ended on the 28 as the pandemic reached its second year. With opening remarks by Yoo Eun-hae, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of education of the Republic of Korea, this year’s conference was attended virtually and on-site by teachers and ministry officials from eight countries.
“Despite schools being shut worldwide and lack of proper infrastructure for online remote classes, it was the commitment and the hard work of the participating teachers that helped successfully run the Asia-Pacific Teaching Exchange(APTE) Programme”, Lim Hyun-Mook, director of APCEIU, said in his welcoming speech. He further expressed how he looked forward to further strengthening the cooperation between the Korean teachers and teachers from partner countries.
In her pre-recorded opening remarks, Minister Yoo Eun-Hae said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to fully realize how closely interconnected we are,” She further added, “This exchange could serve as a chance for teachers to understand and appreciate the promising role education can play in building a world where we harmoniously live together.” She ended with a promise that the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea would “stay committed to invariably promoting international exchange and GCED in close coordination with our partners around the world.”
Hang Chuon Naron, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Cambodia, said, “We have found a way to adjust to the New Normal we live in whilst continue running the exchange programme during the pandemic” and added, “The APTE Programme is a meaningful opportunity for participating countries to understand each other and to share a common vision.”
The SSAEM Conference acted as a platform to share results of the APTE Programme and was significant as Korean teachers and teachers from partner countries presented their experience of the online teaching exchange in the midst of the pandemic. Furthermore, the conference played an essential role as delegates of the Ministry of Education from eight participating countries (Republic of Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Thailand) discussed the learning losses incurred by the pandemic crisis.
This year’s conference was held in a hybrid form to keep the on-site attendance to a minimum and included presentations on-site by Korean teachers and online presentations by overseas teachers from partner countries. In the first session, teachers gave a live presentation in twos on how the online exchange programme between Korea and Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines was conducted. In the second session, teachers who helped develop online educational materials to reduce the learning loss of students amid the pandemic shared their invaluable experiences through presentations.
The conference, which attracted approximately 2,000 participants on the webinar and live streaming on Youtube, is now available for viewing on Youtube or by accessing the official website (2021ssaem.unescoapceiu.com).