14.03.2012 - Education Sector

Director-General to give keynote address on literacy at the University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will inaugurate the UNESCO Chair on Literacy and Learning and address a symposium on “Global Literacy in the 21st century: Problems and Prospects” at the University of Pennsylvania on 15 March 2012.

She will highlight positive experiences and lessons learned, stress the need for strong partnerships and innovative alliances, and underline that “we must go where the gaps are widest and where we are needed most.”

Other speakers at the symposium include the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, a senior education advisor at USAID, the Vice-Provost of the University and the Dean of the Graduate School of Education.

The UNESCO Chair on Literacy and Learning is held by Dan Wagner, a professor at the Graduate School of Education and Director of the International Literacy Institute at University of Pennsylvania. A special feature of the Chair is the Penn Graduate School of Education-UNESCO Chair International Fellowship initiative. A first of its kind in the United States, this initiative supports promising professionals at Masters’ level from the developing world with a special interest in international education.

The newly established Chair is the 18th in the United States. Overall, some 600 Chairs operate in 128 countries.

Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It has the largest contingent of international students in the Ivy League and is consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country.

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