C. Kundalaputra

Phranakorn Rajabhat University (THAILAND)
Rapid and enormous development of technology, economy, and international trading has caused the present era to become a borderless world. The education provided to meet only the needs of the people in each country is not enough. Consequently, cooperation among the GMS countries to jointly develop their educational potential is essential. The objectives were to study the contexts and the socio-cultural, economic, and politic relation of the GMS countries, and to develop the appropriate model for an education hub of the GMS countries at all levels. The research was designed using embedded mixed methods with both qualitative and quantitative methodology as well as a qualitative method as a key way to explain the phenomenon.
It was found that there were similarities and differences among the GMS countries in terms of problems and difficulties in the cultural, socio-economic, political, and historical contexts as well as international relationship, resulting in recognition and disapproval towards one another. Based on these factors, considering education cooperation, similarities were found in Buddhism: the religion of all these countries and in some cultural and traditional activities. There might be some economic differences, but through projects and networking, educational cooperation with clear direction among the GMS sub-region would be more possible than that of the countries of different regions. Different politic factors, affecting the internal development of each country, were not considered as a barrier for the cooperation. The cooperation must be done based on sincerity and respect towards the unique culture, tradition, and political form of each country and must lie upon a real support as a friend, not as a competitor. The cooperation should narrow a gap on social justice and the global development ethics, enshrining the commitment to non- interference in the neighbors’ internal affairs to execute superiority. Whenever the balance of trust can be found, the cooperation would be sustainable. It was also found that all countries have potential to be an education hub of all levels, depending on each country’s expertise and readiness. However, it is required that all countries have an organization equipped with modern IT facilities, serving as the center for database on education, and linking to the database of SEAMEO RIHED, with an access possibly made from all the GMS countries. There must be agreement on the language used regarding textbooks and documents.It is proper for a training course to use English and the language of the host country. Another important factor is the readiness in information technology and data searching instruments. Apart from giving knowledge and expertise, the cultural, socio-economic, cultural, and political knowledge of the host country should be provided for the trainees. The most important factor is that there must be a follow-up program to evaluate whether the knowledge acquired is implemented in the real situation of each country and through the international cooperation. The results should be reported to SEAMEO RIHED so that there will be continuous and sustainable database on the educational development of the GMS countries.