UNESCO joins Asia Society in Launching Center for Global Education
Global Citizenship stands at the center of the new education paradigm we need to respond to inequality, climate change, environmental degradation and violent extremism, affirmed UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the launch of the Asia Society Center for Global Education, at the Asia Society on 22 September, 2016.
The Director-General is honorary chair of the Center for Global Education’s Advisory Council. The Center will bring together the most influential educators, businesses, and government officials; commission research and publish insights; and partner with schools and education systems to change policy and practice.
In 2014, the Asia Society and UNESCO sealed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance Global citizenship education and support priority themes, including the prevention of violent extremism through education.
"UNESCO has played a leading role in taking forward global citizenship education. The fact that it is explicitly recognized in United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 reflects the international community's affirmation that education is on the frontlines of building a culture of peace today and in preventing violent extremism," said Ms Bokova.
"We need partnerships across the board to share best practices and advance new global competences for living together, and I am delighted that the Asia Society, through this new Center, is putting its expertise behind this shared priority."
“Today’s problems—mass migration, violent extremism, inequality, climate change— transcend international borders and demand global cooperation,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “Meeting these challenges requires a new educational model, one that prepares students to be successful in a globalized world.”
In a keynote address to mark the launch of the Centre, the Director-General warned that education are failing when only 38 percent of countries have achieved gender parity in secondary education and 250 million children and youth are leaving school without basic competences.
"Education must be about cultural literacy, about values of respect and equal dignity, about global solidarity Being a global citizen calls for new ways of seeing the world, of sharing the wealth of cultural and linguistic diversity as a force of belonging and innovation."
She outlined UNESCO's role in capacity building and developing normative tools, including a Teachers’ Guide on managing classroom discussion in relation to the prevention of violent extremism, and a policy guide to help implement education related actions in the area of PVE. She also highlighted work carried out by the International Bureau of Education on addressing intolerance and extremism through universal values in curricula.
She stressed the importance of supporting young people and encouraging civic engagement.
"Today there is a race to win the hearts and minds of young people and we must win this race through global citizenship education."
Networking and partnerships will be key to success she said, noting the positive engagement of governments, civil society and the private sector to transform education systems to adapt to 21st century challenges.
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