To support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) regarding quality education, on Thursday 30 August 2021 Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Early Childhood Care Education and Parenting (SEAMEO CECCEP) held the “Annual Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE) and Parenting Regional Forum”. These activities are carried out virtually. A total of 45 participants consisting of experts, leaders, academics, and practitioners at the regional level.
The regional forum activities aim to share and gain new knowledge, models, and good practices related to early childhood education and parenting in the Southeast Asian region. These models and good practices can be adapted and implemented in schools, communities, and regions of each country. The regional forum activities were opened by the director of the SEAMEO Secretariat, Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua and followed with a greeting from Dr. Dwi Priyono, M.Ed as director of SEAMEO CECCEP.
The Director of SEAMEO CECCEP warmly welcomed and thanked the guests who had attended the event. “I would like to welcome and thank the guests who have been willing to attend this activity. Through regional forums, we can exchange information, learn and adopt good practices to be applied in early childhood education institutions in Southeast Asian countries,” said Dwi.
The activity consisted of 2 sessions, the first session consisted of material presentation and discussion. Speakers in the first session were 4 people consisting of Dr. Muhammad Hasbi (Director of ECE Directorate, MoECRT, Indonesia/Governing Board from Indonesia), Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer (Board of Directors, ARNEC Singapore), Prof. Dr. Racidon P. Bernarte (Managing Director Asia-Pacific Consortium of Researchers and Educators, Philippines) and Eddy Henri (Head of Early Childhood Education and Development Tanoto Foundation). The first session and discussion are about policies on Early Childhood Education and Parenting and Family Involvement in Indonesia: Encouraging Agility amid a Pandemic.” Next is the Role of ECCE and Parents in the Crisis of the 21st Century. Then, the last one is parenting in the context of the Philippines.
The second session contains presentations and questions and answers. The speakers in the second session are HE. Prak Kosal (Governing Board from Cambodia), Prof. Netty Herawati (Head of HIMPAUDI, Indonesia), and Lach Savy (Aide et Action Director). Through this activity, participants are expected to gain new knowledge, models, best practices that hopefully can be applied in schools, communities, and their environments. This forum expected participants to reach an agreement on the establishment of ECCE and the Parenting Association. In the end, early childhood children can access educational services according to their development phases.
In supporting the program, there are two main programs, namely the provision of new ECCE Pilot Assistance, and the involvement of “Bunda PAUD” (ECCE Ambassadors). To maintain the programs and activities on the right track, SEAMEO CECCEP requires a lot of input from ECCE and Parenting stakeholders in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, through the Early Childhood Education (ECCE) and Parenting Regional Forum activities. It is a huge step to become a viable platform for experts, researchers, academics, and stakeholders in the field of ECCE and Parenting from SEAMEO Member Countries and beyond.