International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030–
The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)–UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education
High-Level Forum on Teacher Competencies in the Digital Revolution:
Reaching the Unreached (Virtual)

30 July 2021


Issues of availability of and access to educational technologies, e.g., software and hardware, became pronounced when in-person classes were suspended and instructions were being delivered remotely.  Headlines like “schoolchildren climbing trees to get signal for online classes” or “students trekking hills and mountains to attend online classes” filled newspapers during school closures due to COVID-19 pandemic.  Teachers too were put in the spotlight of such news, particularly those who are teaching in disadvantaged schools.

There are many schools that can be categorized as disadvantaged.  Remote rural schools and small schools are at disadvantaged because oftentimes these are inaccessible and mostly located in underserved areas.  Border schools are also disadvantaged because of their location and some of them may have other challenges such as conflict and fewer enrolment.  A number of them are also considered small schools or multigrade schools.

These disadvantaged schools are at the lower end of disparities when it comes to access to ICT and digitalization.  The pandemic heightened the digital divide that is contributing to the education crisis.  The number is astounding: Half of the total number of learners – some 826 million students – kept out of the classroom by the COVID-19 pandemic, do not have access to a household computer and 43% (706 million) have no internet at home, at a time when digitally-based distance learning is used to ensure educational continuity in the vast majority of countries1.

In these circumstances, we have to think that all children deserve quality and accessible education.  Education is a fundamental human right and public good for children, youths and adults all over the world.  Teachers must have the right knowledge, competencies, skills and values to allow them to reach out to all the learners especially in these difficult times.

The Teacher Task Force is an alliance of committed partners providing policy recommendations, capacity building and knowledge sharing with its members.  The TTF Secretariat hosted by and established in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris undertakes and coordinates activities to drive and mobilize governments and stakeholders for the advancement of teachers globally, regionally and locally.

The TTF has given the thematic group on ICT and Distance Learning leadership to SEAMEO and UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) to pursue activities that will help reach the TTF’s main lines of actions in policy advocacy, knowledge creation and sharing as well as country support and engagement.  SEAMEO and UNESCO IITE will co-chair ICT and Distance Education to ensure inclusive and quality education is promoted for all and through lifelong learning.

SEAMEO’s Strategic Plan 2021-2030 puts premium on digitalization, particularly on “Strategic Theme 4: Digital transformation and rapid change adoption”.  During the SEAMEO 5th Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers (SDEM) on 17 June 2021, Ministers of Education and heads of delegation committed to focus their cooperation in the region at the following key areas:

  1. Strengthening regional projects to expand educational innovations for a technology-driven future;
  2. Creating a policy environment that enhances mutual collaboration and partnership among key education actors to transform education and science in a manner that enhances Southeast Asian identity and culture;
  3. Integrating resilience in learning environment that is quick to respond to education challenges through collective action;
  4. Supporting capacity building for teachers and educational personnel to keep up with the ever-evolving digital learning environment;
  5. Promoting innovations together as a vital tool in ensuring regional success with the SEAMEO Units from early childhood to university-level education and promoting lifelong learning for all; and
  6. Fostering an education environment facilitates the low, medium, or high technology, reaching the marginalized, the lowest, and the vulnerable members of the Southeast Asian education ecosystem.

The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE), co-chair in the Thematic Group, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Distance Education for Teacher Development of theInternational Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, or Teacher Task Force (TTF) spearheaded capacity building programmes to enhance teacher competencies and the development of standards.

1UNESCO, (2020, 21 April), Startling digital divides in distance learning emerge.  Retrieved from


Given the enormous challenges teachers and school heads face in this time of pandemic, the 2021 High-Level Forum on Teacher Competencies in the Digital Revolution hosted by TTF-SEAMEO and UNESCO IITE aims to:

  • Examine the solutions proposed by governments, teachers and school leaders to ensure learning continuity;
  • Discuss national and regional solutions and an action agenda to address the barriers to inclusive education and digital divide;
  • Share innovations during the pandemic in promoting learning continuity in disadvantaged schools that can be replicated or scaled up;
  • Discuss policy reforms to enhance teacher competencies in the digital age.

Expected Outputs

At the end of the High-Level Forum, the following outputs will be shared:

  • An Action Agenda on Improving Teacher Competencies in the Digital Revolution
  • Collection of good teaching practices of New Normal Pedagogies and Innovation for reaching the unreached and disadvantaged learners
  • Collection of Open Educational Resources on Teaching Tools for the Marginalized Learners

Target Participants

The High-Level Forum will invite members of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 and High Officials from SEAMEO Member Countries, Associate Member Countries, Affiliate Members and SEAMEO Schools Network.

The TTF-SEAMEO-UNESCO IITE event will feature Plenary and Break Out/Parallel Sessions:

A. Plenary 1: Keynote Message

B. Thematic Presentations: Supporting Teachers and Education Personnel in Implementing Remote and Virtual Classrooms in Disadvantaged Setting

  • ITTF Members
  • SEAMEO Member Countries
  • SEAMEO Associate Member Countries
  • Invited Presidents, Deans and Teachers from the Asia Pacific Region and beyond

C. Plenary 2: Action Agenda for ITTF-SEAMEO and UNESCO IITE

Tentative Programme

Time (BKK) Activities
08.30-09.00 Checking in and technical test
SEAMEO Colours
  • Opening Message by Dr Carlos Vargas Tamez, Head of UNESCO Section of Teacher Development and the Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 (TTF), France
  • Message by ICT Competencies Standards: Status of Implementation and Way Forward by Mr Tao Zhan, Director, UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, Russia
  • Overview and Mechanics of the High-level Forum by Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua Valenzuela, Director, SEAMEO Secretariat, Thailand
09.10-09.30 Keynote Message
  • Teacher Competencies in the Digital Revolution: Reaching the Unreached by Mr Sng Chern Wei, Deputy Director General of Education (Curriculum), Ministry of Education, Singapore
09.30-09.35 Overview of the Thematic Panel Presentations
09.35-10.50 Thematic Panel Presentations (Speakers will have 3-5 minutes to present)
09.35 -10.00 A.   Teachers ICT Competencies during Emergency: Lessons from the Pandemic
  • Dr Dy Khamboly, Deputy Director-General of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Cambodia
  • Mr Shahrizal bin Hj Emran, Head of Educational Technology Centre, Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam
  • Dr Nuanpan Pulsrisawat, Deputy Director, Bureau of Technology for Teaching and Learning, Office of the Basic Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Thailand
  • Dr. Muhammad Hasbi, Director of Early Childhood Education, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Indonesia
Moderator: Dr Wang Libing, Chief of Section for Educational Innovations and Skills Development, UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand
10.00 -10.30 B.   ICT Support for Teachers and Learners in Disadvantaged Context
  • Assoc Prof Vongdeuan Osay, Deputy Director-General, Department of Teacher Education, Ministry of Education and Sports, Lao PDR
  • Madam Maznah binti Abu Bakar, Director, Educational Resources and Technology Division, Ministry of Education, Malaysia
  • Mr Nar Bahadur Raika, Specialist, Department of Adult & Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Bhutan
  • Dr Feng Siyuan, Senior Specialist of International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) Management Centre, International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI), China
  • Dr Jeaniene Spink, Research Director, Education and Development, The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), Australia
Moderator: Dr Margarita Consolacion C Ballesteros, Director IV, International Cooperation Office, Department of Education, Philippines
10.30 - 10.33 Coffee/Tea Break
Video of Success Stories of Teachers during COVID-19 pandemic
10.33 - 10.50 C.   Remote Education and Learning Continuity Models
  • Dr Diosdado San Antonio, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Education, Philippines
  • Dr Masami Isoda, Director of Center for Research on International Cooperation in Education Development (CRIED) and Dr Nakao Nomura, Regional Director for Southeast Asia at Bureau of Global Initiatives, University of Tsukuba, Japan
  • Dr Ho Vinh Thang, Senior Official of Secondary Education Department, Ministry of Education and Training, Viet Nam
Moderator: Dr Samsideth Dy, Deputy Director General of Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Cambodia
10.50-11.20 Initiatives and Innovations on ICT/DE for Teachers from SEAMEO Centres, Associated Member Country and Affiliate Member
  • Dr Hanani binti Harun Rasit, Centre Director, SEAMEO SEN, Malaysia
  • Dr Juan Robertino Macalde, Senior Specialist/Head, Learning Management and Implementation Unit, SEAMEO INNOTECH, Philippines
  • Ms Cahya Kusuma Ratih, Acting Deputy Director for Programme, SEAMEO SEAMOLEC, Indonesia
  • Mr Bouchaib Ez-zahri, Third Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Ms Torunn Gjelsvik, Secretary-General, International Council for Distance Education (ICDE), Norway and Dr Wayne Mackintosh, UNESCO/ICDE Chair in Open Educational Resources Managing Director, OER Foundation and OERu facilitator
Moderator: Dr. Kritsachai Somsaman, Deputy Director for Administration and Communication, SEAMEO Secretariat.
11.20-11.30 Presentation of ITTF-SEAMEO-UNESCO IITE Action Agenda
  • Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua Valenzuela, Director of SEAMEO Secretariat
  • Ms Leila Loupis, Senior Project Officer, Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030
Closing Remarks byUndersecretary Alain del Pascua, Department of Education, Philippines


e-Certificate of Participation

The e-Certificate of Participation will be provided to the eligible audience who fill up the “Certificate Validation Form,” of which details will appear during the event.

Teachers and Partners Registration

The meeting platform will be via Zoom and streamlined via YouTube.
Registration Link:
YouTube Live Link:

Contact Persons

Ms Uyen Ho Thuc Nguyen (Jolin)
Project Officer