A policy forum themed “Lifelong Learning: Policy and Vision” took place in Hanoi on March 20 as part of the 47 th Southeast Asian Minister of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Council Conference.

Participants worked together to seek feasible measures to boost lifelong learning, a modern learning method of the 21 st century.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan, who is also the Chairman of the 47 th SEAMEO Council Conference, affirmed that promoting lifelong learning is considered a national policy of many countries to maintain and increase their regional and global competitiveness.

Vietnam ’s lifelong learning efforts and commitments have been indicated in the Party, State and National Assembly’s important documents and its network of lifelong learning organisations has been expanded to communal level, he said.

The country now has more than 10,800 community learning centres scattering through over 97 percent of communes, wards and towns nationwide.

According to the minister, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries are deeply aware of the importance of lifelong learning for socio-economic development. However, the lack of specific legal regulations, transnational cooperation, and qualitative and quantitative research works is hindering the lifelong learning development.

Nguyen Hong Son, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education and Training’s Regular Education Department, proposed the development of a contingent of experts who are responsible for building a learning society using technical and professional guidance from the United Nations for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Dr.Arne Carlsen, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, emphasised the need to diversify training methods, build a lifelong learning network accessible to all citizens and raise social awareness of the issue through festivals and communication campaigns.-VNA