Joint Statement of the ASEAN University Youth Summit 2009
“Empowerment through Education”
20-21 October 2009
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand
1. We, ASEAN youths representing 10 ASEAN Member States, gathered on 20-21 October 2009 at Stamford International University, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, on the occasion of the ASEAN University Youth Summit 2009.
2. We noted with appreciation the signing of the Cha-am Hua Hin Roadmap for an ASEAN Community which comprises of the three Community Blueprints, namely, the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint, and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint and the second Work Plan of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration, by ASEAN Leaders at the 14th ASEAN Summit on 1st March 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand.
3. We recalled that human development is one of the six key areas of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint which aims to prioritise the importance of education in ensuring the integration of education priorities into ASEAN’s development agenda and creating a knowledge based society; achieving universal access to primary education; promoting early child care and development; and enhancing awareness of ASEAN in youths’ education and activities to build an ASEAN identity based on friendship and cooperation.
4. We noted that education is the most critical element to empower people. ASEAN Member States must build educational paradigm where education should be given priority. Education is not just meant to empower people by creating intellectually elite and able scholars, but is a tool to empower people as equalising force meant to solve social problems.
II. Youth Empowerment through Education
A. The actions youth can undertake:
1. Participate in the joint collaborative programmes; for example, exchanging students, internship programme with public and private institutions and involvement in community services. These are not only to empower the intellect of youths but also to open up career opportunity for these knowledgeable youths;
2. Understand and support the student-oriented approach based on ASEAN values so that they can express their independent thinking to initiate changes for the improvement of our communities;
3. Encourage the sense of mutual responsibility, cultural understanding and raise awareness of ASEAN identity among youth through participation in existing activities. For example, youth can demonstrate a sense of mutual responsibility through promoting education in rural areas by working as volunteers to encourage awareness of education and to urge rural children to enroll in schools. Through these activities, youth can learn to be responsible for the continuing existence of ASEAN and to understand race and gender differences without being discriminatory but to mold it altogether to prosper the ASEAN Community;
4. Support initiatives of ASEAN youth activities to provide platforms for youths to actively take part in regional events such as ASEAN Youth Forum and ASEAN Young Volunteer Project. These activities will encourage them to better themselves through education for the reason that they are representatives of their countries and that they are the next generations who can facilitate ASEAN Community’s growth and prosperity;
5. Maximise the innovative uses of information technology, ICT and Media to promote e-education and life-long learning. For example, youth can provide feedback towards policy making, or other social policies with the aid of modern technology and communication methods through new multimedia forms such as online social networking. This new technology will allow them to become effective citizens who can learn beyond their professions, and active citizens who could contribute to the betterment of their nations;
6. Value students’ soft-skills or extra-curricular activities equal to their academic performance. Volunteerism is another means for youth to enhance their skills and to develop themselves as leaders with self-esteem and confidence;
B. Recommendations to ASEAN Heads of States/Governments regarding educational cooperation in ASEAN
In order to promote the empowerment of education, the youth of ASEAN call on ASEAN Member States to:
1. Promote equal access of education to rural areas, women, and disadvantaged people by providing them the opportunity to approach the same formal education;
2. Encourage more awareness and action on the part of ASEAN Member States to promote all forms of education such as, but not limited to, formal, informal and non-formal in ASEAN and recognise that it is a driving force that can add positive value in the field of education-related issues within the region and beyond;
3. Include positive values such as morals and ethics in the education system in order to create awareness among the younger generation regarding the misuse of empowerment that one gains through education;
4. Enhance and develop peace and stability through education in ASEAN Community by actively building up the socio-cultural curriculum that is in line with the idea of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community;
5. Improve the quality and adaptability of education, including technical and vocational skills training in the region by developing technical assistance programmes in basic and higher education level;
6. Extend ASEAN youth platforms for networking between students and other stakeholders in order to share best practices on youth empowerment and to provide the chance to participate in policy making, social improvement, exchanging strategies, and promoting policy dialogue;
7. Establish national youth platform such as national youth summit to discuss and get an overview of national and regional issues before discussing them at the regional level;
8. Provide international academic environment that encourages exchange of students, expertise and academic staff, nurturing cultural understanding and strengthening relationship among ASEAN countries;
9. Increase the availability of scholarships for both local and regional students who are academically capable and willing to pursue higher education but financially unable to do so;
10. Promote ASEAN events through mass media communication to increase the awareness of ASEAN among citizens of Member States;
11. Foster partnership and solidarity among ASEAN’s education institutions and scholars, which will ultimately enhance regional awareness;
12. Encourage more developed nations to assist in the educational improvement of less developed nations in the region;
13. Provide regional financial aid assistance to support development and investment in education within the region;
14. Initiate a regional knowledge bank on education to compile, gather, produce and store academic documents as ASEAN archives to serve communities;
15. Provide high quality education by incorporating the utilisation of ICT such as e-learning, e-journal and e-library;
16. Encourage and provide opportunities to inculcate the value of life-long learning within the educational system of ASEAN nations;
17. Establish a progress report on the implementation of the Plans of Action in the Blueprint as a means of feedback for each ASEAN Member State to the citizens of ASEAN;
18. Improve teachers’ welfare and quality of teaching for better education systems within the ASEAN region.
The realisation of this Joint Statement will be accomplished only through the collective adoption of these recommendations that will enhance cooperation within the ASEAN Community. This Joint Statement will be submitted at the 15th ASEAN Summit in Cha-am Hua Hin on 23 October 2009.
Adopted in Cha-am Hua Hin, this Twenty First Day of October in the Year Two Thousand and Nine.