On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, a meeting between UPI and University of Tsukuba is held to discuss plans for collaboration in the SEA Teacher Project of SEAMEO. Three delegates from the University of Tsukuba visited UPI, namely prof. Isoda Masami, Prof. Nakao Nomura, and Mr. Yoshikazu Tatemoto. The meeting was also attended by several lecturers of UPI and two pre-service student teachers from Thailand. The discussion consisted of plans for exchanging pre-service student teachers between the two universities and also future possibilities of collaborating in special education projects. As a close affiliate of SEAMEO, University of Tsukuba is interested in sharing their good practices in teacher training through the SEA Teacher Project.
According to Prof. Nomura, the background of this project is to internationalize Japanese teacher training programs and familiarize Japanese teachers with foreign students and foreign teaching practices. “Maybe it’s time to share the good practices from Japan to ASEAN, also ASEAN to Japan,” he said. Prof. Nomura also mentioned that most Japanese teachers have little experience teaching foreign children, so the SEA Teacher Project sparks plenty of interest from pre-service student teachers in Japan.
Currently, the University of Tsukuba is recruiting students for the SEA Teacher Project. The plan is to recruit six students and send two of them to three countries each. The exchange students will spend a total of one month in the country they are sent to and undergo teacher training there. Meanwhile, UPI is expected to similarly select six students to be sent to the Philippines, Thailand, and Japan. Students who are sent to Japan will be accommodated by the University of Tsukuba and undergo their teacher training in both Sakado Senior High School and the University of Tsukuba. They will also gain the opportunity to attend the SEAMEO Tsukuba Symposium on February 2020, focusing on teacher training.
Other than the SEA Teacher Project, possible collaboration in special education was also discussed. The close relationship between the University of Tsukuba and UPI has generated many openings for programs relating to special education. Students in the education and also special education departments of UPI can look forward to the opportunity of undergoing training in Japan with the University of Tsukuba and gain valuable experience. (Gelatika Prayogo)