"ASEF blew my mind! It was a connection between the Arctic-Tropic axes of epic proportions. So much energy and so much passion from real teachers with real feelings who really care about education in their countries."Dr Jingmei LI, Senior Research Scientist, Genome Institute of Singapore (Speaker, 14th ASEF ClassNet Conference).

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The 14th ASEF Classroom Network Conference (#ASEFClassNet14) themed "Gender Equality" Reprogramming STEM Education" was held from 27-30 November 2018 in Helsinki and Espoo, Finland. ASEFClassNet14 brought together over 100 participants including policy-makers, scholars, pedagogical experts, education leaders and innovative secondary, high and vocational school teachers from 45 ASEM countries.

Through panel discussions and lectures from experts on the topic, the teacher participants enriched their understanding of gender and participated in debates and discussions to highlight why gender equality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) is crucial today. Most importantly, it encouraged participants to debate how school leaders and governments can introduce initiatives to encourage more girls to study STEM in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Encouraging Learning Beyond the Regular School Curriculum
Considering the value of integrating creativity, critical thinking, and team work in learning process, every year ASEF ClassNet Conference encourages teachers from Asia and Europe to propose and collaborate on projects that can empower students, with opportunities to learn beyond the regular school curriculum. This year 6 outstanding ASEF ClassNet School Collaborations were shortlisted from 19 Collaborations and awarded with Gold and Merit Awards at the 14th ASEF ClassNet Conference in Finland:

Gold Awards

  • Let's Stroll on the Streets: This collaboration invited students to team up to reveal history of streets in their neighbourhood and countries.

  • Entrepreneur's Bazaar: This collaboration created opportunities for students to experience the full cycle of operating a retail bussiness from a start-up through simple real bussiness initiatives.

  • Rivers – An Elixir of Life: Through this collaboration students learned about lives of people living near rivers to understand civilizations that are formed around rivers.

Merit Awards

  • The Power of Songs: Using a range of ICT tools to develop digital skills, students explored the power of music to empower lives and societies around the world.

  • What Matters in Your Life?: Through this collaboration students explored deep questions on aspects related to life that they find important in four levels - individual, community, national and global.

  • Uniquely Us: Publish It: Students explored and learned about photo jourrnalism and anthropology to study, document and share stories of their home country with participants around the world.

These 6 School Collaborations involved a total of 692 students, 53 teachers from 41 schools in 22 ASEM partner countries.

The 15th edition of the conference will take place in the second half of 2019 in Japan themed "AI in Education" (working title). More information on the upcoming conference will be annonced in the second quarter of 2019.