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UNESCO Bangkok Director calls for enhanced cooperation of Education Network




UNESCO Bangkok Director Gwang-Jo Kim presented perspectives and strategies for closer cooperation in the UNESCO global and regional network, in particular the engagement of UNESCO Field Offices with specialized Category II Education Centres in Asia and the Pacific during the 2nd Meeting of UNESCO Education Sector Category II Centres from 30 May to 1 June in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Mr. Kim named numerous challenges for the Education Sector in the region: The demographic change with sinking birth rates, the aging society and raising demand for lifelong learning, the migration within States and cross-nations with quest for education for migrants, the technological development with the rising use of ICT in Education on one side while on the other side a strong digital divide.

The main challenge in achieving basic education for all is what Mr. Kim called the “Educational Divide” with still 27 million children out of school in Asia and the Pacific.

He said: “It is important to note that we are one primary school cycle from the target date of meeting universal primary education by 2015. And the figures show we are not on track.

“Despite the progress of the past decade, absolute deprivation in education among 17-22-year-olds remains significant in the Philippines, Viet Nam, India, Nepal and Pakistan. In Pakistan, 30% of the 17-22 year-old population has less than 2 years of education. Those from the poor households are even more disadvantaged – with an education poverty incidence double the national average. Girls from these poor households suffer further marginalization, where nearly 85% are in education poverty,” said Mr. Kim.

As Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, the UNESCO Bangkok office plays a fundamental role in cooperation of the diverse UNESCO family in the Asia-Pacific region.

UNESCO’s vision in the field of Education being “Quality education for an inclusive, innovative and sustainable knowledge society”, Mr. Kim called for a focus of programme delivery on reaching the marginalized through a stronger cooperation within the UNESCO network in the Asia and Pacific region.

This can be reached through engaging with UNESCO’s Category II Centres in jointly designing and delivering programmes, such as on Climate Change and Peace Education, on analytical and academic work, e.g. on migration and education issues, on capacity building and on joint fundraising to achieve the joint goals of Education for All.

The 2nd Meeting of UNESCO Education Sector Category II Centres was co-organized by UNESCO and the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) in Seoul, Korea to facilitate collaboration and communication and to enhance partnership and cooperation among Category II Centres and with the UNESCO Education Sector. The first meeting had taken place in Beijing, China, 5-7 May 2009.

The meeting in Seoul was attended by high-level representatives from UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and the Asia and Pacific Regional office in Bangkok, and Directors and staff from UNESCO Category II Centres:

Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU)
International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (CIEFFA)
Guidance, Counseling and Youth Development Centre for Africa (GCYDCA)
International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED)
Regional Centre for Educational Planning (RCEP)
Southeast Asian Centre for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA-CLLSD)
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL)

More information on UNESCO Institutes and Centres: