SEARCA presents programs to SEAMEC president in a virtual visit to the Philippines

  • By Nathan P. Felix
  • 6 May 2022, Friday

A delegation from the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) led by its Director, Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, presented to Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s Minister for Education and current President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council (SEAMEC), the Center’s programs and activities in the region during his first virtual visit to the Philippines on 18 April 2022 via Zoom.

Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s Minister for Education and current President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council (SEAMEC); Dr. Leonor M. Briones, Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary and SEAMEC Vice President; Dr. Ethel Agnes P. Valenzuela, SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES) Director; and the SEARCA delegation led by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director; pose for a photo opportunity after the virtual visit. Also in the photo are key officials and support staff of the respective institutions.Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s Minister for Education and current President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council (SEAMEC); Dr. Leonor M. Briones, Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary and SEAMEC Vice President; Dr. Ethel Agnes P. Valenzuela, SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES) Director; and the SEARCA delegation led by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director; pose for a photo opportunity after the virtual visit. Also in the photo are key officials and support staff of the respective institutions.

Apart from SEARCA, the SEAMEC President was received by the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) led by Secretary Leonor M. Briones, who is also the SEAMEC Vice President; the SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES) led by its Director, Dr. Ethel Agnes P. Valenzuela; and the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH) represented by its Knowledge Management and Networking Manager, Mr. Benito Benoza. Also in the virtual visit was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chew Fook Tim, Country Representative of Singapore and immediate past Chair of the SEARCA Governing Board.

This virtual visit is part of the SEAMEC President’s activities that include visits to SEAMEO Centers around the region to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Dr. Gregorio gives an overview of SEARCA’s strategic roadmap.Dr. Gregorio gives an overview of SEARCA’s strategic roadmap.

Dr. Gregorio gave an overview of SEARCA’s strategic roadmap of Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN), its alignment with local, regional, and global scales, and which underpins its innovEIGhts model towards solutions for participatory and sustainable development.

“SEARCA aims to gear towards internationalization following the framework of SEAMEO in its 2030 Agenda and connect it with ASEAN bodies and institutions,” said Dr. Gregorio.

SEARCA is one of the oldest regional centers of SEAMEO, a treaty organization established to promote education, science, and culture in the Southeast Asian region.

Dr. Gregorio added that the Center’s mandate is unique as it aims to build capacity in agricultural and rural development and education in agriculture and natural resource management.

“We also worked with key agencies to deliver programs and services in graduate study and research in agriculture as well as capacitate local government units in the Philippines,” said Dr. Gregorio.

The SEARCA Director also shared on a high note that the Center was able to generate funds from external sources to support programs and activities to expand its reach and target not only in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, but also beyond the region. He then revisited SEARCA’s 11th Five-Year Plan of ATTAIN which the Center started implementing since 2020.

In an audiovisual presentation, Dr. Gregorio unveiled the SEARCA Hub for Agriculture and Rural Innovation for the Next Generation (SHARING), a facility providing an engaging and educational experience of dynamic navigation through a museum space.

“SHARING is something to look forward to as we reopen SEARCA to our stakeholders most importantly our young people, our young students, for them to build awareness and appreciation on what smarter agriculture is all about,” said Dr. Gregorio.

Secretary Briones expresses her gratitude to both SEARCA and INNOTECH.Secretary Briones expresses her gratitude to both SEARCA and INNOTECH.

In her closing message, Secretary Briones applauded the two SEAMEO regional centers based in the Philippines for continuously keeping up with the mandate of both DepEd and SEAMEO in serving basic education.

“I would like to express my thanks to the SEAMEO Council President for choosing the Philippines as the first destination among the series of virtual tour. I find all the discussions and presentations stimulating and I look forward to more exchanges like this because we can learn and perhaps adapt the best practices from our fellow SEAMEO countries. Thank you and we look forward to host you when times are better and better times are coming as we all know,” said Dr. Briones.

Minister Sing commends the good work SEAMEO centers has been doing and looks forward to visit each institution when situation gets better.Minister Sing commends the good work SEAMEO centers has been doing and looks forward to visit each institution when situation gets better.

Education Minister Sing also commended the good work SEAMEO centers has been doing and looks forward to visit each institution when situation gets better.

“I am personally looking forward to visiting the Centers in one of these days. Nothing beats meeting you physically and making sense of all your good work. But I am ready to learn from you, from those details and good ideas that we can all also adapt and learn from,” he said.