Revolutionizing Education: SEAMEO STEM-ED and Chevron Illuminate the STEM Stage in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand ─ In a spectacular showcase of innovation, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Regional Centre for STEM Education (SEAMEO STEM-ED) joins forces with Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd. to present "STEM Synergy for Transforming the Future of Education" (held in a hybrid mode on January 17, 2024, at Centara Grand, Bangkok, Thailand, on Zoom, and Facebook Live). This event serves as a compelling reflection on the transformative outcomes that have significantly influenced numerous lives across Southeast Asia.

In the opening remarks, Datuk Dr. Habibah Abdul Rahim, the Director of SEAMEO Secretariat, underscored the pivotal role of STEM education. She emphasized that despite the evident benefits highlighted in numerous global studies, the widespread implementation of STEM learning in K-12 schools remains limited.

Dr Rahim also expressed optimism that ongoing studies conducted by researchers in the Southeast Asian region will yield valuable evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of STEM learning resources, practices, and school leadership.

"The event will inform policymakers in the region and support their decisions regarding the right policies to strengthen STEM education in their countries. Together, we can make this happen," Dr. Rahim added as she concluded her remarks.

Being a forefront agency in pioneering STEM education, SEAMEO STEM-ED Centre Director Dr. Kritsachai Somsaman highlighted how the success of SEAMEO STEM-ED’s programmes is rooted in a strong collaboration among partnering agencies ─ that are united to propel national education development.

“All agencies are determined and pushing forward the programmes, overcoming obstacles with their capabilities, expertise, and knowledge,” SEAMEO STEM-ED Centre Director Dr. Somsaman said, while adding that “from this point onwards, there are many initiatives and programmes taking place, and the Centre will expand them to cover 11 SEAMEO countries in the Southeast Asia region.”

Meanwhile, Dr Siripong Angkasakulkiat, Assistant to the Minister from Ministry of Education highlighted that education is everyone’s responsibility; all parties are in some ways intertwined with the education system. Therefore, if everyone contributes their part in elevating educational standards, our country will give birth to quality individuals, formulate a better society, and excel in national competitiveness.

“With SEAMEO STEM-ED’s and collaborative parties’ capabilities, I firmly believe that the Centre (SEAMEO STEM-ED) and partners (which have contributed to the programmes for the past three years) will utilise ‘best practices’ and deploy them as a prototype model, and sustainably elevating Southeast Asian STEM education,” Dr Siripong emphasised.

Another key partner from Chevron Thailand, Pativate Boonyapaluk, who is a Vice President of Health, Safety, and Environment, cited that Chevron stands firm in the belief in “human energy,” and underscored Chevron's view that STEM education is key to pioneering individuals’ capacity and Thailand’s innovation on the regional stage. He explained that Chevron Enjoy Science was initiated in 2015, aligning with the public-private partnership framework, and has since elicited three main programmes: Professional Academy, STEM Career Academies, and Using Picture Books to Enhance Critical Thinking and Meaningful Reading.

"From the extensive work we have done in collaboration with our partners, it allows us to witness this eight-year success, and we hope this small humble beginning will be a force for change in educational development, propelling us into a higher realm of sustainability,” the Vice President of Health, Safety, and Environment said.

Hosting two separate but parallel sessions, the event showcased SEAMEO STEM-ED’s flagship initiatives, including “Professional Academy (empowering educators for STEM excellence),” "Using Picture Books to Enhance Critical Thinking and Meaningful Reading (unlocking the world of literacy and critical thinking)," and “STEM Career Academies (shaping the future of STEM careers),” each delving into its programme effectiveness, expansion, and sustainability outlook. Grouped in a breakout session under the umbrella of “Regional Synergy: Cultivating the What Works Network for Strengthening STEM Education in Southeast Asia,” participants in the event ranged from policymakers, businesses, and government officials to school executives.

The full story of the event will follow shortly.

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