The SEAMEO VOCTECH Regional Centre organised the 7th SEAMEO Centres Policy Research Network (CPRN) Summit 2024 on 23 April 2024, at Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah. Over three days until 25 April, the summit gathers policymakers, researchers, educators, and stakeholders from various countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Bhutan, Japan, Hong Kong, and Finland, to discuss crucial topics in policy research under the theme “Embracing Inclusivity in Education, Science, and Culture”.

The summit was inaugurated by Yang Berhormat Datin Seri Setia Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, Minister of Education, Brunei Darussalam. Also in attendance were Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim, Director of the SEAMEO Secretariat, Ambassadors and High

Commissioners of SEAMEO Member Countries and Associate Member Countries to Brunei Darussalam, along with Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Directors, SEAMEO VOCTECH Officials, and representatives from various ministries, institutions and partner organisations to support the event.

In her opening speech, Yang Berhormat Datin Seri Setia Dr Hajah Romaizah emphasised the summit’s theme and reiterated Brunei’s commitment to promoting inclusivity in education, science, and culture. This includes ensuring quality education for everyone, encouraging research and innovation while supporting marginalised groups and preserving and promoting culture amidst the digital age.

“Addressing inclusivity in education, science, and culture within the SEAMEO context requires concerted efforts to bridge socio-economic and technological disparities, preserve cultural uniqueness, promote collaboration among member countries, and prioritise.

evidence-based policymaking to overcome challenges and achieve sustainable development goals in the region” stated Yang Berhormat Datin.

The CPRN Summit garnered support from Brunei Ministries including the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Transportation and Infocommunications, SEAMEO centres, ministries and partners, showcasing esteemed keynote speakers, presenters, and moderators from the fields of Education, Science, and Culture who enhanced the event. Notably, among the distinguished keynote speakers was Yang Mulia IR. Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transportation and Infocommunications, Brunei Darussalam presented on ‘Inclusive Science for Regional Advancement’ which delved into one of the key themes of the summit. As Southeast Asia advances, the CPRN summit underscores the vital importance of equitable access to quality education, science, and culture, regardless of individuals’ backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, or other considerations. As a result of this dialogue and policy research network, the expected outcomes of this Summit will encompass the development of policy recommendations, support for ongoing research endeavours, and dissemination of findings from submitted papers.