ASEAN members look towards mutual recognition of educational qualifications hinh anh 1Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha speaks at the conference (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Digital transformation in education and mutual recognition of qualifications are important solutions to improve educational efficiency in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha.

Nha made the suggestion while speaking at a virtual conference on “Parliamentary Partnership on Educational and Cultural Cooperation for Sustainable Development” (AIPA ECC) hosted on July 30 by the Vietnamese National Assembly as Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) for 2019-2020.

ASEAN member nations need to exchange views and discussions to build a legal corridor for the legalization of mutual recognition of educational qualifications among them, especially in online training, he said.

According to the minister, over the past years, Vietnam has made efforts to speed up digital transformation in education. The Ministry of Education and Training has instructed schools to organise online training courses and guided them to recognise the results of online learning.

There are a lot of technological apps that can be used in teaching and learning, Nha said, adding that many schools in Vietnam can maintain all or some online teaching and learning activities during the period of social distancing.

Humans are the most precious resource, therefore the top priority should be given to optimising the efficiency of workforce, he said, stressing the need to promote mutual recognition of educational qualifications so that workers, students and pupils from an ASEAN country can continue to study and work in another member nation without interruption and transition.

Developing human resources is not only training and re-training but also mutual recognition and taking full advantage of trained workforce, the minister stressed.

Initiated by Vietnam, the conference aims to provide a chance for member parliaments and partners to discuss AIPA cooperation in the fields of education and culture to realise the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, thereby contributing to maintaining the cultural identity and building a prosperous ASEAN community.

In his opening remarks, Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien stated that the world is facing many serious and urgent issues such as environmental pollution, exhaustion of resources, ecological imbalance, ethnic conflict, consequences of development and urbanisation, and especially the current COVID-19 pandemic. These hinder the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

 “As legislators, we need to take action to fulfill our responsibilities and commitment to the implementation of the sustainable development goals as stated in the Hanoi Declaration at the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) with the theme "Sustainable Development Goals: Turning words into action" in April 2015.”

“In the framework of this conference, we will focus on educational and cultural cooperation, a big issue for building the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community ,” he stressed.

ASEAN members look towards mutual recognition of educational qualifications hinh anh 2Delegates attend the conference (Photo: VNA)

According to the NA Vice Chairman, in recent years, the educational and cultural cooperation among ASEAN countries has been increasingly strengthened and achieved encouraging results. However, education in ASEAN still faces some obstacles, including the big gap among member countries in terms of quality and management level, budget for education, lack of connection between different training systems, mutual recognition of qualifications, and internationalisation of regional qualifications.  Besides, the preservation of cultural heritages in the region confronts many challenges from climate change, natural disasters, pollution and consequences of excessive tourism exploitation.

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened and even dimmed the results achieved by the community during the past time. Therefore, the actions of parliaments at this time play an extremely important role to continue promoting the goals and agendas for sustainable development in the coming period.

Participants shared information and experience on educational and cultural cooperation, clarifying the role of parliaments in developing a common legal mechanism to recognise the quality of education between countries in the region.

They also discussed cooperation mechanisms in developing distance and online education in the context of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic; as well as the building of a legal corridor to conserve and connect cultural heritages in the region for sustainable tourism development./.