‘Global citizenship education has an important role to play in ensuring that the world that emerges from the COVID-19 crisis is safe, fair and inclusive’ - Christiana Nikolitsa-Winter (2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented changes.  The pandemic has affected all areas of life including the suspension of schooling and the migration to online and virtual platforms.  At present, 1.7 Billion learners all over the world have been impacted by school closures, and remote learning has been a lifeline for learning (UNESCO, 2020). 

The world sheds tear as COVID-19 takes the lives of loved ones.  People of all races and ethnicities shared fears about being infected with COVID-19.  Leaders of different nations in the world, from the wealthiest to the poorest, exhibited the same concern, whatever their race or ethnicity, as they try to reassure their citizens that “We shall overcome!”.  The united stand to combat COVID-19 pandemic is indeed a form of global citizenship, albeit shown through the challenging circumstances. 

COVID-19 pandemic has functioned as a force of equity that brings men and women of different status, experience, national origin, language, and culture to the same basic commonality of the desire to survive. 

As the pandemic is still on-going and has created such a “New Normal” ways of life, there is one source of light in the gloom of economic lockdown and self-isolation that we witnessed that includes the positive action of communities and citizens, the expressions of support for critical workers, including medical professionals, and the spontaneous demonstration of social solidarity, particularly with the most vulnerable.

Such actions, whether intended to protect, support, comfort or overcome exclusion, show the difference that responsible, ethical citizenship can make.  Even though these gestures will not immunize anyone against the virus, however they make individuals and communities stronger and more resilient.

Undeniably, the advent of COVID-19 makes Global Citizenship Education (GCED) more important and relevant.  The global pandemic has indeed further raised the need for strong and resilience Global Citizenship.  Crises such as COVID-19 often result in far-reaching social and economic changes.  At the regional level, one of the responses that SEAMEO has initiated during the pandemic was to convene the First SEAMEO Ministerial Policy e-Forum (SMPeF) on COVID-19 Response last 18 June 2020.  SMPeF shared the policies and responses of the Ministries of Education in Southeast Asia to the pandemic to ensure that no learners in the region are left behind.  During the SMPeF, the Ministers have put forward the commitment through the Joint Statement, and one of the commitments is to be united in the fight of pandemic and appreciate the efforts of stakeholders in education sectors to innovate and evolve in the unprecedented time (SEAMEO Secretariat, 2020a).  The Ministers of Education further recommended the SEAMEO Secretariat and the SEAMEO Centres and Network to sustain the achievements gained in the fight against COVID-19 disruption to improve learning outcomes (SEAMEO Secretariat, 2020b).  This commitment has shown SEAMEO Member countries as responsible global citizens. 

In response to this current challenging situation, SEAMEO Secretariat in collaboration with the University of Tsukuba and supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Japan will convene the 9th SEAMEO-The University of Tsukuba Symposium which will be held virtually on 11 February 2021.  Under the theme ‘Resilience for Global Citizenship’, the Symposium will provide a platform for experts, policy makers, educators, and other stakeholders to share best practices and discuss on how we as global citizens respond to the challenges in education posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


This symposium aims to (1) Provide a platform to showcase the Best Practices of education responses to the pandemic and school closures in the region; (2) Identify opportunities and challenges faced by schools in SEA during the pandemic period; (3) Consolidate the policy changes and ways forward for “New Normal” in education; and (4) Identify ways to address the needs of disadvantaged students learning through remote education.

Under the sub-theme ‘Challenges in Education under COVID-19,’ this symposium intends to cover issues surrounding but not limited to:

  1. GCED concept development: Before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Best Practices of alternative teaching methods/modules in educational institutions, both Basic Education and Higher Education during and after COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. The scalability of national response and existing solutions at the regional level that may help contribute to the post-COVID-19 plans of actions and agenda.
  4. The policies, tools, and strategies that could be suggested to policymakers to improve youth situation in the New Normal way of life.
  5. The contribution of education stakeholders in shaping the future of cultural learning and practices in Southeast Asia and beyond post COVID-19.

We cordially invite education experts, policy makers, educators, researchers, and other stakeholders to submit their abstract and full paper for the symposium.  Selected full paper presentations will be published in SEAMEO Journal 2021 (June issue). 

Symposium Mechanics

This symposium will be done in three parts.  The first part will feature the Keynote speeches who shall provide an overview on concept development of Global Citizenship and significant role of Global Citizenship during the pandemic.  The next part will feature a roundtable discussion in response to the Symposium’s theme to provide a big picture how resilient we are as GC in respond to the current situation.  After roundtable discussion there will be 5 panel presentations best practices on how we as resilient GCs work together to respond to COVID-19 pandemic.  Each presenter shall share their experiences or best practices in overcome the challenges during the pandemic to ensure learning continuity. 

All speakers shall submit an abstract of their presentation and the PPT or other media to the organising committee on or before 31 January 2021.  Please refer to the Application Form.

Each keynote speakers will have 15 minutes to deliver their presentations, while other speakers at roundtable discussion and panel presentation will be allocated 7 to 8 minutes per presenter.

Contact Persons: Management Organisation, Host, and Session Organisers

  1. SEAMEO Secretariat

    Dr Wahyudi
    Deputy Director for Programme and Development
    SEAMEO Secretariat
    Bangkok, Thailand

    Ms Anti Rismayanti
    Programme Officer III (Information and Development)
    SEAMEO Secretariat
    Bangkok, Thailand

  2. CRICED, University of Tsukuba, Japan

    Prof Dr Masami Isoda
    Centre for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED)
    The University of Tsukuba
    Ibaraki, Japan

    Contact Person:
    Ms Yukari Kobayashi


Administrative Support

The Symposium will be conducted based on a cost-sharing basis among the SEAMEO Secretariat, the University of Tsukuba and SEAMEO Centres.


The e-certificate will be provided and generated by the SEAMEO Secretariat as follows:

  • “Certificate of Appreciation” will be provided to the speakers and panelists.
  • “Certificate of Participation” will be provided to all participants who attend the Symposium and complete the Certificate Validation and Assessment Form. 




Invitation letter to SEAMEO Centres/Network and Partners to participate and to submit the abstract.  11 January 2021
Deadline for SEAMEO Centres and Partners to submit the abstract 31 January 2021
Compilation of abstract 1-5 February 2021
Announcement of the symposium in the Website 10 January 2021
Announcement for participants to register for the symposium 1 February 2021
Dry run for speakers and panelists 9 &10 February 2021
Symposium 11-12 February 2021
Certification March 2021
Deadline of full paper submission for publication in SEAMEO Journal 2021 (June) 31 March 2021


UNESCO.  (2020, June).  Education: From disruption to recovery.  Retrieved August 15, 2020,

Nikolitsa-Winter, C.  (2020).  COVID-19: From global crisis to global citizenship.  Retrieved 28 December 2020 from

SEAMEO Secretariat.  (2020, June 18).  SEAMEO Ministerial Policy e-Forum on COVID-19 Response [Video]Youtube



Thursday, 11 February 2021
0830-0900 hrs Registration and Log in
0900-1000 hrs I. Opening Ceremony
  A. SEAMEO Colours and SEAMEO Song
  B. Opening Remark by H E Dr Radzi Jidin
Senior Minister of Education, Malaysia and SEAMEO Council President
  C. Welcome Remarks by Dr Benton Caroline Fern
Vice President, The University of Tsukuba
  D. Welcome Remarks by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan (MEXT)
  E. Opening Message by Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela
Director, SEAMEO Secretariat
  F. Keynote Speech: Resilience for Global Citizenship’
Dr Ida Yoshiyasu, Chair, Doctoral Program in School Education, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, The University of Tsukuba
  G. Official Photo Session
1000-1005 hrs   Healthy Break                                      
1005-1105 hrs II. Roundtable Discussion: Resilience for Global Citizenship
  • Dr Chantavit Sujatanond, Centre Director, SEAMEO RIHED (TBC)
  • Mr Sukich Udindu, Centre Director, SEAMEO SEPS (TBC)
  • Dr Ramon C Bacani, Centre Director, SEAMEO INNOTECH (TBC)
  • Dr Alpha Amirrachman, Centre Director, SEAMEO SEAMOLEC (TBC)
  • University of Tsukuba (TBC)
Moderator: Prof Dr Nakao Nomura, Regional Director of South East Asia and Taiwan Offices, Global Common Office, The University of Tsukuba
1105-1205 hrs III. Global Citizenship Resiliency in Response to COVID-19 (I)
    Panel Presentation:
  • Dr Glenn B Gregorio, Centre Director, SEAMEO SEARCA
  • Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, Centre Director, SEAMEO BIOTROP
  • Mr Alias Abu Bakar, Centre Director, SEAMEO VOCTECH
  • Dr Pornpun Waitayangkoon, Centre Director, SEAMEO STEM-ED
  • University of Tsukuba
Moderator: Dr Wahyudi, Deputy Director for Programme and Development, SEAMEO Secretariat
1205-1300 hrs   Lunch
1300-1405 hrs IV. Global Citizenship Resiliency in Response to COVID-19 (II)
    Panel Presentation:
  • Dr Shah Jahan bin Assanarkutty, Centre Director, SEAMEO RECSAM
  • Dr Indrawati, Centre Director, SEAMEO QITEP in Science
  • Dr Sumardyono, Centre Director, SEAMEO QITEP in Mathematics
  • Dr Songheang Ai, Centre Director, SEAMEO TED
  • University of Tsukuba
Moderator: Dr Kritsachai Somsaman, Deputy Director for Administration and Communication, SEAMEO Secretariat
1405-1505 hrs V. Global Citizenship Resiliency in Response to COVID-19 (III)
    Panel Presentation:
  • Assoc Prof Dr Pratap Singhasivanon, Secretary-General/Coordinator, SEAMEO TROPMED Network
  • Dr Muchtaruddin Mansyur, Centre Director, SEAMEO RECFON
  • Centre Director, SEAMEO SEN
  • Dr Dwi Priyono, Centre Director, SEAMEO CECCEP
  • University of Tsukuba
Moderator: Ms Anti Rismayanti, Programme Officer III (Information and Development), SEAMEO Secretariat
1505-1510 hrs   Healthy Break
1510-1610 hrs VI. Global Citizenship Resiliency in Response to COVID-19 (IV)
    Panel Presentation:
  • Ms Susan Leong, Centre Director, SEAMEO RELC
  • Dr Luh Anik Mayani, Centre Director, SEAMEO QITEP in Language
  • Mrs Somlak Charoenpot, Centre Director, SEAMEO SPAFA
  • Dr Khin Lay Soe, Centre Director, SEAMEO CHAT
  • University of Tsukuba
Moderator: Mr Raphael Orenday Cada, Programme Officer I (Policy and Development), SEAMEO Secretariat
1610-1710 hrs VII. Global Citizenship Resiliency in Response to COVID-19 (V)
    Panel Presentation:
  • Dr Ho Thanh My Phuong, Centre Director, SEAMEO RETRAC
  • Assoc Prof Dr Niane Sivongxay, Centre Director, SEAMEO CED
  • Dr Ho Thanh My Phuong, Acting Centre Director, SEAMEO CELLL
  • University of Tsukuba
Moderator: Dr Orawan Sriboonruang, Programme Officer II (Research and Evaluation), SEAMEO Secretariat
1710-1730 hrs VIII. Synthesis and Closing Messages
  • Symposium Synthesis by Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Director, SEAMEO Secretariat
  • Closing Message by Prof Dr Masami Isoda
    Director, Centre for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED), The University of Tsukuba

Registration Form