» Four countries place Global Citizenship Education as curricula cornerstone
17.11.2016 - Education Sector

Four countries place Global Citizenship Education as curricula cornerstone


Education experts from Uganda, Colombia, Mongolia and Cambodia agreed actions to mainstream Global Citizenship Education in school curricula at a UNESCO-APCEIU workshop in Geneva.

The Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (UNESCO-APCEIU) and the International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) gathered eight specialists from the four countries for the workshop held at IBE-UNESCO’s Geneva headquarters from 8 – 10 November.

The workshop was led by Mr Jay Kim, Head of the Office of Research and Development, UNESCO-APCEIU and Mr Renato Opertti, coordinator of the Innovation and Leadership in Curriculum Learning and Assessment programme, IBE-UNESCO, who were joined by international experts Sergio Riquelme Muñoz from Chile and Felisa Tibbitts from the United States who provided further development recommendations for GCED. (Video)

Global citizenship: a hot topic

“Given the constant challenges all citizens face in today’s world, it is more important now than ever that we address key issues including human rights, peace, gender equality and sustainable development through education. We are delighted that APCEIU is leading the way and has partnered with us to ensure that global citizenship becomes a cornerstone in curricula globally,” said Mr Opertti.

The four countries, covering three continents, have laid the foundations for GCED in their respective regions and presented the results of an analysis of the implemented curriculum, and the challenges and opportunities to strengthen GCED.  The objective was to develop roadmaps to set national priority areas which will guide the implementation in the local contexts. The agreed actions include raising teachers’ awareness and advocating on GCED (Colombia), training textbook writers and curriculum developers (Cambodia), developing pre-service and in-service teacher training (Uganda), and mapping the key stakeholders working on GCED (Mongolia).

“The aim was not to develop a ‘perfect recipe’ that would suit every country in the world. On the contrary, by sharing challenges and effective practices, we are trying to help the countries to develop roadmaps, reflecting their specific contexts and serving their own goals,” said Mr.  Opertti.

The link between national curriculum and local socio-political contexts was illustrated by two examples. The historical analysis of curriculum development in Cambodia has significantly influenced the country’s political changes in its education system. Meanwhile, the Colombian curriculum demonstrates a focus on intercultural empathy and dialogue, as well as humanitarian law and peace building; notions that are particularly relevant for a country that has experienced over 50 years of civil war.

Regardless of their local differences, all four countries identified some similar challenges, including the lack of expertise in GCED topics, specifically referring to the lack of trained teachers and qualified curriculum developers.

UNESCO-APCEIU’s efforts to form a global network promoting GCED through partnerships with various organizations dovetail with its mission and contribute to the realization of Education 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

IBE-UNESCO’s GCED work underlines its mandate to strengthen the capacities of member states to design, develop, and implement curricula that ensure the equity, quality, development-relevance, and resource-efficiency of education and learning systems.

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