Quality Science Education:
ensuring a sustainable future for all        

Quality science education sparks students’ curiosity from an early age

UNESCO uses the lever of innovative hands-on kits and tools (Microscience, Mathematics Exhibition) as well as active methodology science teaching programmes to foster curiosity and the ambition to know first, to know better. The Organization is also working to attract more talented youngsters to scientific disciplines and careers by familiarizing them to experiencing science. This creates, at early age, an environment of scientific capability, collaboration habits and a healthy competitive environment. The portative science kits (true mini-labs) also contribute to relieve the lack of laboratories and facilities in developing regions, especially in Africa, and are used as experimental tools to improve curricula through practical experiments.

Quality science education takes advantage of the new development in ICTs

To build scientific capacities, UNESCO is fostering the establishment of high-quality web-based science courses, open online contents and databases as well as mobile learning programmes. These tools allow students, teachers and the general public to conveniently access high-level science knowledge that is essential to empower and engage them into science.

A few examples:

  • World Library of Science (WLoS)
  • CERN Digital Library “Invenio” supported by UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP)

Basic sciences education triggers innovation that is essential to sustainable development

Quality basic sciences education is an indispensable lever for innovation, conducive to any sustainable development. It is based on institutional and human capacity building, through the creation of centres of excellence, and on the international networking generated by scientific platforms such the Human Variome Project (HVP). These activities also help to fight brain-drain and strengthen each country’s abilities to sustain high-quality trainings to young generations (through teachers’ training).

Quality science education tackles both global and local challenges

UNESCO provides exciting opportunities for the public and schools to discover and experience many aspects of science, including its applications in daily-life, its relevance on societal and environmental concerns. Information about the impact of scientific research on specific issues is being made accessible - including local and global trends and perspectives on science for sustainable development in different parts of the world, such as solutions and opportunities offered in the African context.

This enables policy-makers to develop and implement evidence-based decisions, and demonstrates that science is at the core of the technological advancements that shape today’s economies and societies.

A few examples:

Empowering girls through science education

We must celebrate and give greater visibility to the achievements of women and girls in science, such as Prof Maryam Mirzakhani, who is the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal in Mathematics this year. The IYCr2014 was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the achievements of women crystallographers such as Dorothy Hodgkin, who synthetized several bio-molecules (insulin, penicillin, vitamin B12, etc.), and Rosalind Franklin, who contributed to the discovery of the crystal structure of DNA. Efforts are put to render science inclusive to girls worldwide, especially in Africa.

A few examples:

© UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo, World Science Day for Peace and Development.

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Previous Celebrations

Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on 10 November each year.

Celebration in the United Nations