16 February 2022

The AUN Executive Director's Keynote Speech at USTMAM Encourages the Importance of Regional Cooperation for the Development of ASEAN Region

AUN Writer Team

By Salsabila Nurul Falah, AUN Intern

Last February 3rd to 5th, 2022, the UST Asian Studies Major held the 8th installation of the University of Santo Tomas Model ASEAN Meeting (UST Model ASEAN Meeting) under the theme “ONE ASEAN, ONE HEALTH: Overcoming COVID-19 Adversities through Regional Cooperation and Development” via Zoom Online Conference. This event simulated the actuality of the ASEAN Summit process by firmly upholding the ASEAN principles. It also allowed the participants to role-play as the ASEAN Diplomat. UST Model ASEAN Meeting 2022 covered the ​three pillars, namely the Socio-Cultural Pillar, Economic Pillar, and Political Security Pillar.

Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, Executive Director of ASEAN University Network, delivered his keynote speech under the topic of “ASEAN region during the Current Pandemic: Regional Cooperation - Its Roles and Limitation, An Assessment from the Education Perspective.”

During this event, Dr. Choltis discussed how the ASEAN, as a region, joined together in the current pandemic of COVID-19, particularly focusing on the education perspective. Before the pandemic era, the concept of digital society, including the impact of the 4th industrial revolution on education, was heavily discussed. While society has indeed been enduring several drastic effects from the pandemic of the COVID-19 era, there have also been some positive attributes to the education sector, particularly in terms of accelerating the process of change.
Dr. Choltis mentioned several challenges faced by the education sector in managing the disruption in the ASEAN region. One of such challenges is exploring the new mode of learning and teaching, as well as student mobilization during the pandemic era. To improve the quality of education in the region, it is necessary to provide a platform for learning and sharing with the community through the use of technology to improve the information flow within the region and at the same time provide training programs for teachers. He also stated the need for more student involvement in providing input on a regular basis to improve the quality of education.

In the last segment of his speech, Dr. Choltis touched upon the importance of regional cooperation to push forward the development in the region. He stated that it was within the AUN’s vision to promote learning capacity, proactiveness, and strong sense of global citizenship among the ASEAN students. Moreover, deglobalization has also occurred and become a concern for the region; the way forward for the Southeast Asia region is to stay on course and emphasize cross-border collaboration to improve and strengthen the human elements of ASEAN.