UNESCO and United Emirates Renew Agreement to Promote Educational Planning in the Arab Region
Highlighting the importance of accompanying transformations in the Arab region through strong education systems, the Director-General and the Education Minister of the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement on 7 September 2012 that renewed the Regional Centre for Educational Planning’s special relationship with UNESCO.
Based in Sharjah, this Centre under the auspices of UNESCO has trained over 300 educational planners and managers over the past two years and has also facilitated access to information and materials on educational planning and management, as developed by UNESCO and regional centres of expertise.
“This Centre has established itself as an important platform for education planning in the Arab States. Today’s signing is an opportunity to build on this strong foundation and expand our partnership,” said Irina Bokova. “National strategies for growth, inclusion, social justice and equal opportunities are based on education. Working with the support of our International Institute for Educational Planning and our offices, the Center has an important role to play in accompanying educational reform across the region.”
Expressing his pride upon signing the agreement, Minister Humaid Mohamed Obaid Al Qutami highlighted his country’s full support to all initiatives that place a priority on education. “We believe that education is the key to all life success, economic, social and other,” said the Minister explaining that in the space of forty years, the number of schools increased ten-fold and the country boasts eight universities.
The Director-General also commended the country for agreeing to host the biennial meeting of the eight UNESCO’s Category 2 centres specialized in education. “This will be an occasion to develop stronger synergies, better use the resources of these centres and ensure they are closely linked with our new medium-term strategy.” She noted increasing global momentum in favour of education, drawing attention to the forthcoming launch of the Secretary-General’s Education First initiative and UNESCO’s leading role in its design.
Category 2 Centres are not legally part of the Organization but contribute to its objectives and are associated with it through formal arrangements approved by the General Conference.