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Malaysian delegates prepare for Commonwealth education ministers meeting

13 February 2008

Ministers are due to meet in Kuala Lumpur in June 2009

Both the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation have held talks with a high level Malaysian delegation to discuss preparations for the 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (17CCEM).

17CCEM will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in June 2009, and marks 50 years since the first such conference was held in the United Kingdom in 1959. Commonwealth education ministers meet every three years to discuss issues of mutual concern and interest.

The 2009 meeting will build on the agreements and decisions taken at the previous gathering in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as focusing on the chosen theme that will be determined prior to the event.

17CCEM will feature a Stakeholders’ Forum (for civil society, academia and the private sector), a Youth Forum, a Teachers’ Forum, and for the first time a University Vice-Chancellors’ Forum, each of which will present a statement to Education Ministers on the outcomes of their discussions.

17CCEM will also see the culmination of the second round of the Education Good Practice Awards, which opens for submissions in April 2008. The awards recognise good practice in the Six Action Areas identified by ministers at the 15CCEM held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2003.

A series of meetings were held at Marlborough House in London between 4 and 8 February 2008 with the Secretariat, the Foundation, and partners such as the Commonwealth Teachers Group and the Association of Commonwealth Universities to begin planning for the conference.

The Commonwealth Foundation is leading the planning for the Stakeholders’ Forum, the largest of the parallel events, in conjunction with the Malaysian Ministry of Education. The Foundation has also held a consultation with civil society organisations and the Malaysian delegation.

The Foundation’s Deputy Director, Vijay Krishnarayan, said the preparatory meetings agreed on the importance of making connections and building partnerships across a number of sectors.

The preliminary meetings also emphasised the need to work towards promoting understanding between Commonwealth citizens in areas such as student mobility and exchange programmes.

“There was remarkable consensus on a commitment to promote diversity and respect and understanding and finding ways to take this forward,” said Mr Krishnarayan.

Further consultations will be held in the run-up to the conference to select a theme and develop the agenda.

 


 

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