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Theme 1: Impact on educational systems

Monday 3 May 2021

6pm – 7:30pm (Melbourne, Australian Eastern Standard Time AEST)

2020 was not so much as a turning point in the global economy as an escalation. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed and accentuated existing fault lines in contemporary labour markets. Setting the context of this symposium, this session explores some of the major issues faced by education systems throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drawing from past experiences during the global financial crisis and through the voices of young university students, Professor Lucas Walsh will examine factors such as economic downturns and the impact of automation on work and student mobility. Panel discussions will be included about the top priorities for education systems in the ASEAN region (following the pandemic), and will conclude by critically examining what “the new normal” might mean for educators and education systems.

Facilitator

Presenter

Panellists

  • Dr. Agus Mutohar, University Walisongo
  • Dr. Hardimah Said, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
  • Professor Tuan Huynh, Vietnam National University
  • Professor Dato Norzaini Azman, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Dr. Jennie V. Jocson, Philippine Normal University

Theme 2: Inclusive education in a post-COVID world

Tuesday 4 May 2021

6pm – 7:30pm (Melbourne, Australian Eastern Standard Time AEST)

For most learners across the globe, the advance of COVID-19 has significantly altered every element of life, on multiple levels. COVID-19 presented new challenges to policy-makers and educators that they had never anticipated. The solutions that most education systems around the world used to address the challenges had mixed outcomes. Most learners with additional needs and diverse backgrounds struggled more compared to their other classmates in most countries. However, there were examples across the globe, where policy-makers and educators devised innovative solutions to address the multitude of challenges that learners with additional needs and their families faced during this time.

We do not deny that the COVID-19 pandemic was a most challenging time for all and more so for learners with additional needs and their families, and their educators. However, we learnt that responding to the challenge required quick adaptation and a proactive response. We also learnt that the school leadership team played a critical role in supporting educators, families and learners.

Join our panel to learn about some of the key challenges that policy makers and educators faced in Australia and ASEAN countries. We will share examples from the participating countries about how the challenges were addressed and how the challenges in different schools and countries may be the same, however, the solutions in various contexts could be different. We believe collaborations across various countries are crucial as we find solutions to the problems faced by their learners and will allow learnings to be sustained beyond.

Facilitator

Presenters

Panellists

  • Dr. Jennie V. Jocson, Philippine Normal University

Theme 3: Educational leadership and COVID-19: What are we learning?

Wednesday 5 May 2021

6pm – 7:30pm (Melbourne, Australian Eastern Standard Time AEST)

The trauma associated with the COVID-19 pandemic across the ASEAN region continues to unfold in unpredictable and disturbing ways. COVID-19 has laid bare enduring inequities in access to health care, housing, education, natural resources and technology, but the response of the education sector in the region remains proactive and constructive. We are learning so much about educational leadership despite the trauma. While managing school closures, social distancing and lockdown; educational leaders are re-imagining how schools can operate in a COVID world. They are recalibrating priorities to focus on inclusion, wellbeing and agency over rankings and testing. They are investing creatively in partnerships with parents, communities and industry that are valuable for the school and the partners. And they are using technology to build relationships and trust as much as build knowledge.

This session will provide a platform for the voices and concerns of a range of educational leaders across ASEAN countries. Presenters will describe how COVID-related issues are being experienced in their local and national settings, and discuss how we can work together to better understand and address these issues now and into a post-COVID world.

Facilitator

Presenters

Panellists

  • Dr Roslinawati Mohd Roslan, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
  • Roger Schulz, School Principal, Malaysia
  • Dr. Nikmah Nurbaity, Ministry of Education and Culture, Central Java

Theme 4: Educational technology in a post-COVID world

Thursday 6 May 2021

6pm – 7:30pm (Melbourne, Australian Eastern Standard Time AEST)

In this interactive session, we examine the place that digital technology is likely to have when the emergency associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will have subsided, but the social and economic impacts will begin to be felt across the world.

It is abundantly clear that the worst hit countries will be the poorest and most vulnerable and, over the next few years public resources for education are likely to shrink. In some of the poorest regions, schools that have closed down may never reopen. Meanwhile, alternative forms of technology-based education and private tutoring will grow and, in many contexts, they will directly target individual learners and their families. At the same time, the growing demand for STEM expertise in under-resourced education sectors will create further gaps that the educational technology industry will attempt to fill. Who is set to benefit the most, and who will miss out? How should governments in the ASEAN and Australasian regions respond?

This session will include an esteemed panel where ideas are presented as provocations to a debate and as an invitation to the audience for further dialogue. In particular, we will consider the tensions between an optimistic view of technology as the “solution” to the educational challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, and the unequal realities of access and opportunity.

Facilitator

Presenters

Panellists

  • Dr. Jennie V. Jocson, Philippine Normal University
  • Dr. Desmond Tan Chia Chun, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
  • Professor Dato’ Dr. Norazah Mohd, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia