2nd Meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the ECO Educational Institute (ECOEI)
The 2nd meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the ECO Educational Institute (ECOEI) Ankara was held on 26 July 2017 in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey. It was attended by the Ministers/Deputy Ministers for Education/Diplomats/Representatives of the host country Republic of Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus- the Observers of ECO. The Secretary General of ECO was also present in the meeting. President ECOSF Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro along with the Assistant Director (Admin & Programmes) Mr. Ghulam Abbas also attended the meeting.
The 2nd BoT Meeting was preceded by a High-Level Experts Group (HLEG) Meeting earlier on 26 July 2017 under the chairmanship of Mr. Ufuk GÖKÇEN, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. The Assistant Director represented ECOSF in the HLEG meeting. The HLEG after having in-depth deliberations on the outstanding matters pertaining to the Institute prepared the Draft Report which was presented in the 2nd BoT Meeting for consideration and adoption.
While HLEG was in meeting, the BoT members/Heads of Delegations were invited for a breakfast meeting by the Deputy Minister of National Education (MoNE) of Turkey H.E. Mr. Orhan ERDEM, followed by a Group Meeting and Press Briefing. Therein the Deputy Minister welcomed the guests and highlighted the plans of Turkey for supporting the ECO Institutions; the Secretary General of ECO was invited who made his remarks and invited President ECOSF to share his experiences on how to handle key matters for activating the ECO Educational Institute in Turkey. President ECOSF Professor Soomro thanked the hosts and Secretary General of ECO for the trust and highlighted the key actions to be taken by the Turkish Government for the institute. His suggestions included; provision of suitable office building, authority to newly elected President to take decisions and of course, provision of financial contributions by the member states mainly the host country. President ECOSF also mentioned how nicely the Government of Pakistan has been sponsoring and patronizing ECOSF in Islamabad. He also extended full cooperation of ECOSF to the ECOEI.
The 2nd Meeting of ECOEI BoT commenced its proceedings around mid day and His Excellency Mr. Halil Ibrahim AKÇA, the Secretary General ECO at the outset, expressed his thanks to the Government of the Republic of Turkey for hosting this BoT meeting and making impeccable arrangements for its success. Further, congratulating the Member States on the formal inauguration of the Institute, the Secretary-General stressed the need for Member States to extend their support to make ECOEI a dynamic and efficient body of the ECO.
H.E. Mr. Orhan ERDEM, Deputy Minister for National Education delivered his inaugural address and extended warm welcome to the participants and felicitated the Member States to reactivate the Institute. He further said that the Education is very important discipline for development and prosperity and keeping in view the ECO region’s current status of development and prosperity, Education needs especial attention to make this region at par with the developed world. The Minister expressed the hope that the Institute would make meaningful contributions to foster regional cooperation in the field of education among the ECO membership. He also said that more close cooperation between member countries in the field of education and science is required which may lead to economic development.
The Heads of delegations delivered their statements, emphasizing on the potential of regional cooperation in the field of education and sharing views on the need to take practical steps to realize this potential for the common benefit of the region. They renewed their firm commitment and support to the goals of the ECO Educational Institute and resolved to make it an efficient and productive specialized agency of the ECO.
President ECOSF Prof. Manzoor Soomro in his statement expressed thanks to the Turkish government for inviting ECOSF and for extending warm hospitality to the delegates. He congratulated the Government of Republic of Turkey, mainly the Ministry of National Education, for holding this meeting. In his statement, Prof. Soomro highlighted the programmes and activities of ECOSF and extended full cooperation to the reactivated ECO Educational Institute in Ankara. He said that the Foundation in addition to promoting STI research, strives to strengthen the science base of the future generation as it contributes towards the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the region following the inquiry based learning method- IBSE.
President ECOSF further said that ECO Educational Institute and ECO Science Foundation share the common goals of promoting collective welfare of the people of the region; which can be pursued through ensuring better education, training and capacity building in various aspects of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation among the member states. Thus the ECO Science Foundation is very pleased to assist the ECO Education Institute in the development of its programmes/ work plans; and there is a great potential for both the agencies to work together and develop joint programs he said.
Dr. Soomro in his statement emphasized that an effective partnership between the two organizations will be crucial to make progress towards achieving the ECO Goals in line with the ECO Vision 2025 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He informed the meeting that ECOSF in collaboration with national and international partners has been promoting various programmes in the region; such as, Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE), Engineering Qualification Standardization and Accreditation and Engagement of regions’ Youth on educational and scientific matters through diverse programmes and invited the ECOEI to join hands with Foundation in the noble cause.
Lastly, he assured the Foundation’s full support and cooperation to the ECO Educational Institute for pursuing the common goals of the two ECO Specialized Agencies for promotion of science, technology and educational activities in the region.
Subsequently, other items on the agenda were discussed and approved with consensus. During the proceedings, Turkey introduced Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Akif KIRECCI, an eminent educationist for appointment as the 2nd President of the Institute. The BoT deliberated the candidature and recommended the nomination to ECO Council of Minister (COM) for approval/endorsement. The President-designate Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Akif KIRECCI briefed the meeting about his background and shared his vision and plans for steering the ECOEI.
The Meeting concluded its proceedings with a vote of thanks to the Chair for conducting the deliberations in a smooth and efficient manner. The delegates also expressed their gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Turkey particularly the Ministry of National Education for the impeccable arrangements made for the Meeting as well as traditional hospitality extended to the delegations. The delegates also commended the efforts and contributions made by the Secretary-General and his able team towards the success of the 2nd BoT and HLEG Meetings.