The 51st SEAMEO Council Conference which was virtually hosted by the Ministry of Education of Singapore on 17 June 2021 endorsed and approved the SEAMEO Strategic Plan (SSP) 2021-2030.

The SSP 2021-2030 features the SEAMEO Seven Priority Areas in Education, Science and Culture which will also serve as the blueprint of SEAMEO in the next 10 years for developing programmes and projects that have sustained relevance and responsiveness in the digital era of the Southeast Asian region. The SSP 2021-2030, which has undergone extensive consultation with SEAMEO Member Countries and Ministries of Education, SEAMEO Regional Centres, and development think tanks, identified priority areas under its Education, Science, and Culture Agenda.



SEAMES conducted a study to gain foresight on education in Southeast Asia using a futuristic methodology. The results of the study were summarised to come up with key messages that were later endorsed by the SEAMEO Executive Committee on 28 August 2014. These key messages were presented in a background document for the SEAMEO Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers (SDEM) held on 13 September 2014 in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). The Seven Priority Areas were subsequently noted during the 37th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting and presented to the SEAMEO Council during the 48th SEAMEO Council Conference. In the Ministerial Round Table Meeting, the SEAMEO Council endorsed the priority areas and announced five recommendations for its implementation beginning fiscal year 2015. SEAMEO will continue focusing on these education priority areas.



The world is changing rapidly. Global developments such as digitalisation, climate change, science, technology, and innovation have radically transformed societies by providing solutions to improve social and economic conditions, increase resilience to natural hazards, and preserve natural resources for future generations. While access to information and communication technology (ICT) is expanding exponentially, relatively poorer communities have been struggling for adequate connectivity. Skills development and programmes to provide every child from early childhood to higher education with access to digital technology and appropriate acquisition of digital skills will better prepare learners for the increasingly complex and omnipresent technologies. In the next 10 years, SEAMEO will work towards improving the field of STEM and providing sustainable solutions aided by biological science, tropical medicine, and agriculture to address human capacity requirements while enhancing the environment and quality of life in Southeast Asia. As such, we chose seven science priority areas to focus on from 2021 to 2030, namely:

  • 1. Health literacy: Psychosocial and mental health
  • 2. Natural resource and environmental management: Circular economy
  • 3. Climate change adaptation
  • 4. Biodiversity and biotechnology
  • 5. Food security and nutrition and precision agriculture
  • 6. Data science, analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • 7. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education for future workforces



SEAMEO’s culture and development approach is linked to achieving the SDGs. Together with its specialist units and partners, the organisation’s main lines of work will include increasing cultural literacy, promoting appreciation for cultural diversity, and upskilling human resources development in archaeology and fine arts built on Southeast Asia’s history and traditions, among others. SEAMEO also identified seven culture priority areas to focus on from 2021 to 2030, namely:

  • 1. Creation, tradition, and innovation
  • 2. Ethics and legal framework
  • 3. Resilience and traditional knowledge
  • 4. Peace and inter-cultural understanding
  • 5. Literacy and appreciation in the modern world
  • 6. Harnessing technology for heritage/culture preservation
  • 7. Heritage science