Lifelong learning plays a significant role in building a learning society toward a nation's economic development. Education should extend beyond formal learning based in traditional educational institutions like schools and universities.  Therefore, there is an emerging need to build learning societies and engage many stakeholders for sustainable development and lifelong learning.

Southeast Asian countries, with their diverse sizes and contexts, have achieved significant progress in expanding citizens’ access to lifelong education and learning opportunities, from formal to informal learning.  These achievements result from government policies, implementing actions and institutional frameworks supporting good practices in tackling various fields ranging from national education systems to teacher development, from online learning to open school programmes, from community learning to skills-based individual development.

Despite positive developments in the region, challenges remain in ensuring ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ (Sustainable Development Goal 4, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations).  Therefore, in order to address these difficulties and gaps, Southeast Asian countries need to learn from one another and continue expanding the provision of rich and diversified learning opportunities for all.

As part of the Seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII) organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Marrakech, Morocco from 15 to 17 June 2022, the virtual workshop “National policies on Lifelong Learning toward Sustainability in Southeast Asia” will take stock of what have been achieved and how best practices can be leveraged through regional cooperation to better tackle the challenges and strengthen a joint lifelong learning process for the sustainability of human capital.



The role of adult learning and education (ALE) in realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: ALE policy in support of sustainable development.


Guiding questions

Questions that will lead the discussion of the workshop are as follows:

  1. Describe the current national policy and/or strategies for Lifelong learning in your country and share some specific challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic for the implementation.

  2. Highlight an innovative approach, action plan, policy or initiative of your country that was successful in overcoming the specific challenge during the pandemic and that other countries can utilize as a best practice.



The workshop will be conducted via the Zoom platform provided by of UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL) and CONFINTEA VII for invited participants.

The workshop will be livestreamed via YouTube and can be viewed at this page

Further information about CONFINTEA VII can be found at


Provisional Programme


Thursday, 16 June 2022
0930-0940 hrs (GMT+1)
1530-1540 hrs (GMT +7)
Welcome Remarks
  • Dr Ethel Agnes-Pascua Valenzuela, Director, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat, Thailand, member of UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL) Governing Board
Opening Remarks
  • Mr David Atchoarena, Director, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), Germany
0940-1035 hrs (GMT+1)
1540-1635 hrs (GMT +7)
National policies on Lifelong Learning: Achievement, Challenges and Recommendation
(3-5 minutes per presentation)
  • H E Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, Minister of Education, Brunei Darussalam
  • H E Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Cambodia
  • H E Assoc Prof Dr Phout Simmalavong, Minister of Education and Sports, Lao PDR
  • Hon. Senator Dato' Dr Ahmad Masrizal bin Muhammad, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Malaysia
  • H E Dr Leonor Magtolis Briones, Secretary of Education, Philippines
  • H E Ms Treenuch Thienthong, Minister of Education, Thailand
  • H E Dr Armindo Maia, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Timor-Leste
  • H E Dr Nguyen Huu Do, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, Vietnam
1035-1040 hrs (GMT+1)
1635-1640 hrs (GMT +7)
SEAMEO’s Recommendation on Lifelong Learning
  • Dr Xayapheth Chaphichith, Deputy Director for Programme and Development, SEAMEO Secretariat, Thailand
1040-1045 hrs (GMT+1)
1640-1645 hrs (GMT +7)
Closing Remarks
  • Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Thailand


Working language




SEAMEO Secretariat
Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building
920 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2391-0144  |  Fax: +66 (0) 2381-2587