24.05.2017 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

UNESCO Builds Capacity on Knowledge Societies with Education and Youth & ICT Sector Stakeholders in Rwanda

UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Policy Handbook supports policymakers and other stakeholders to better understand Knowledge Societies and how to foster their development at the global, regional and national levels. Copyright UNESCO 2017.

18 - 19 May 2017, Kigali, Rwanda: UNESCO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT), through the financial support of the UNESCO-Korean Funds-in–Trust (KFIT), organized a one and a half day workshop bringing together Government of Rwanda stakeholders from both Ministries to build capacity related to Knowledge Societies.

Rwanda’s Vision 2020 aims to transform the country into a knowledge-based, technology-led and middle-income economy by the year 2020. However, in order to achieve these aims, citizens require new skills, including the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as well as an ability to engage in lifelong learning. Education, and more particularly the use of ICT in education, is considered to be a significant channel to build the foundation for a knowledge-based society and catalyse economic development in Rwanda.

In this regard, UNESCO in collaboration with MINEDUC and MYICT organized a capacity building workshop for policy makers and educational officers to better understand the concepts of knowledge societies as contained in the UNESCO Knowledge Societies Policy Handbook.

Workshop participants included eighteen officials from MINEDUC, MYICT, the Rwanda Education Board, the University of Rwanda, College of Education and representatives from civil society. Participants were given a platform to reflect on the concept of Knowledge Societies, their importance for national and global development, and had the opportunity to appreciate the need to generate, implement, and update Policies for Knowledge Societies in Rwanda. Moreover, e-readiness indicators for monitoring knowledge societies were discussed as well as ways to use the UNESCO Knowledge Societies Handbook. Most importantly they were sensitized to the vital role they can play to support the development of a Knowledge Society. The Workshops were participatory in orientation and this was appreciated by those attending. As stated by one participant, “This workshop on knowledge societies was very helpful indeed and the group discussions were particularly interesting as they brought out different viewpoints from practitioners /stakeholders from diverse backgrounds”.

This activity was organized to coincide with the Transform Africa Summit 2017 where UNESCO actively participated in various fora. It is one of three workshops organized with the MINEDUC and MYICT including a sensitization workshop on the Information for All Programme and a workshop to integrate the UNESCO guidelines for the inclusion of persons living with disabilities on ODeL, into the existing Rwanda Policy for Digital Talent

These activities are part of the ICT Transforming Education in Africa project (2016-2018), that intends to support the integration of ICT-based innovative approaches for education in Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. It is a developed within the framework of cooperation between UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Korea Funds-In-Trust initiative and was launched at the 2015 World Education Forum, in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The project is aligned with the Education 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 4 on Education, the Global Education First Initiative, and the Qingdao Declaration on ICT and Education.

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