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Asean boosts region’s school exchange programmes

May 22. 2016
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By The Nation

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Thanks to closer collaboration among 10 Asean nations, exchange programmes for their vocational students and teachers will reach new levels.
All Asean nations agreed to extend the durability of the exchange programmes to between six months and one year at their recent meeting on the SEA-TVET (Southeast Asia technical and vocational education institutions consortium in student and teacher mobility) in Indonesia, 
“When the initiative started last year, the exchange programmes for students and teachers at vocational schools lasted from just one month to three months,” Aganit Klungsang, deputy secretary-general of Thailand’s Office of Vocational Education Commission, said after attending the meeting in Indonesia’s Bali earlier this month. 
The exchange programmes are available in 10 fields seen as important to Asean. They are service business, tourism, mechatronics, electronics, construction, accounting, fisheries, agriculture, business administration and banking. 
Aganit said Thailand and Indonesia had already started making preparations for the exchange programmes that would last at least six months. 
“These programmes will take effect at 50 vocational institutes that conduct classes in English,” he said. 
Further talks would be held on the format and the durability of the programmes in Udon Thani late this month. 
Aganit expected Thailand to start discussing the joint educational programmes with Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia in July. 
He said participants at the 2nd High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET in Indonesia also agreed on some other initiatives that will be useful to the vocational-education sector. 
For example, two scholarships will be made available for vocational students of each Asean nation to provide them with opportunities to further their studies. 
The participants, moreover, agreed to develop green educational institutes and gear their graduates towards creative industries. “We will encourage our vocational students to develop innovations,” Aganit said, adding that SEA – TVET Skill Contest would also be held. 

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