To mark the 20th anniversary of Korea-ASEAN dialogue partnership, ASEAN-Korea Education Leaders Forum was held in Seoul during November 26-29. The forum proposed by KFTA and Teachers' Council of Thailand to enhance education exchanges and cooperation among ASEAN countries was attended by 150 delegates from 15 major teacher organizations in eight ASEAN countries, KFTA and Basic Education Teachers' Union of Zambia(observer).
As a first forum, its significance lies in that it opened a new prospect in private education diplomacy between ASEAN and Korea, who have already developed dynamic exchanges in economy and culture.
Following the opening ceremony on 27th, the delegates had presentation and discussion sessions on the education and teacher training in their own countries under the main them "Building Up Friendship and Cooperation of ASEAN and Korean Teachers" and sub-theme "Attraction of Excellent Teachers and Teacher Training." They also visited a Korean elementary school and Education Broadcasting System(EBS) and toured the Korean Folk village and old palaces to experience Korean tradition and culture.
On 28th, the delegates adopted 2009 Seoul Declaration to promote ASEAN-Korea education development and cooperation of education leaders. They promised to urge governments to improve education environment, expand education budget, attract excellent teachers and provide in-service teacher training, and to make strong efforts for cross-holding of following forums and enhancing the exchange and cooperation among leaders and teachers.
"As a huge union of 570 million people in 10 countries, ASEAN is very important for Korean politics, economy and culture," said KFTA president Lee- Won-Hee. "I hope that this forum will become a place for meaningful activities and discussions to give hope to our children through close educational exchange and partnership."