Transforming education becomes more meaningful with the active engagement of the youth. This was the essence of the Youth Declaration that was launched during the 2022 Transforming Education Summit of the United Nations held in New York. The Summit succeeded in elevating the crises in education to the top of global and national political agendas.
On 27-28 June 2023, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization – Regional Center for Innovative Educational Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) along with its partners are heeding this call by gathering around 150 youth leaders from 10 countries in a two-day summit geared towards transforming education across the Southeast Asia region.
The Youth Summit 2023: Transforming Education in Southeast Asia is designed as a youth-led event which will be managed by the youth leaders themselves, by sharing their own innovations and programs and lead the process of reflection on how the Youth Declaration can be adopted and succeed at the classroom, school, community, and country levels.
“These youth are truly innovators and leaders of the future. They have seen the challenges in education that either hinder learning or have identified those opportunities to strengthen learning and have formulated and conceptualized methods that could very well revolutionize how we teach and how we learn,” said INNOTECH Centre Director and former Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.
The Youth Summit will be held in SEAMEO INNOTECH, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. Among the participating countries are Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The Summit will kick off with the Youth Declaration, laying out their collective recommendations on the transformation they want to see, along with their commitments for action on education. This will be followed by parallel conversations and presentation through breakout sessions. INNOTECH also invited the Ministries of Education and other development organizations to identify concrete recommendations on the youth innovations and working models.
This Summit would also be INNOTECH’s contribution to the Global Youth Initiative under the fourth sustainable development goal, focusing on education to employment, digital learning, youth leadership, inclusive education, civic engagement, and environmental resilience, among others.
“When I was Secretary of Education, we focused so much on uplifting and improving teaching conditions and therefore much of the focus were on the teachers themselves. Here we see that promising and talented youth are as engaged and invested in their education in the same degree as the governments, policymakers, leaders, and teachers across the SEA region. Truly, a wonder to see, meet, and listen to these promising leaders of the future,” Briones added.
In celebration of this auspicious event, the world-renowned Manila Concert Choir (MCC) will be performing for the youth delegates and participants. This Summit is hosted by SEAMEO INNOTECH and supported by its partners and sponsors including the Department of Education, UNICEF Philippines, Philippine National Commission for UNESCO, the Head Foundation, USAID Opportunity 2.0 Program, ASEAN Secretariat, SEAMEO Secretariat, and other SEAMEO centers in the ASEAN region.