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The 1st International Teachers' Conference held in Singapore in September 2001 succeeded in promoting ICT as an effective tool to deliver education and promote academic and cultural exchanges among high school teachers and students between Asia and Europe. To build on the momentum, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) co-organised the 2nd International Teachers’ Conference in Tampere, Finland, from 11 - 14 September 2002, with the National Board of Education, Finland, and the Education Committee of the City of Tampere.

The four-day Conference in Tampere gathered together a total of 55 high school teachers and educators from 16 countries in Asia and Europe to initiate and/or participate in collaborative ICT projects.

In recognition of their outstanding contributions to the objectives of the AEC, AEC Awards, comprising a cash grant of USD2,500 were awarded to three AEC Project Groups, namely, "Cultural Fusion", "The 1st AE Classroom Meeting Point", and "Halo-Halo to Mooncake". They were among the seven AEC Project Groups that were established at the conclusion of the Singapore Conference in September 2001. The AEC Award would be used either to further develop the AEC Project or to develop a new project.

After robust exchange of views and discussions among the participants of the Tampere Conference, nine AEC Project Groups were established. They were:
   
1. E-World
2. Face 2 Face
3. Handshakes All Over the World - Virtual Homestay
4. Let’s Do the Same Lesson
5. Living in A Multicultural World
6. Merging Melodies;
7. Ndolalak and Hambo
8. The Multicultural Exchanger - An Newspaper Online
9. Women All Over the World

The Co-ordinators of three of the existing AEC Project Groups, “Nuclear Energy”, “Cultural Fusion”, and the “Halo-Halo to Mooncake” announced that the projects would be further developed to incorporate more interesting themes and topics to involve more students.

There was overwhelming support for the AEC Teachers’ Conference to be held annually to inject momentum to the AEC initiative. The next conference would be held in an Asian country in September or October 2003. All AEC Project Groups will be expected to report on the developments of their projects prior to the 3rd Teachers' Conference.

* photos courtesy of ASEF.

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