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About the Conference


Reflecting on the times he spent learning under a tree as a young boy, United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon emphasized that education is the single best investment nations can make to build prosperous, healthy and equitable societies when he launched the Education First initiative in September 2012.

Nonetheless, we face huge challenges with 57 million children not attending primary schools. To meet the Education for All universal primary education goal by 2015, 6.8 million teachers have to be recruited.

Teachers play a key role in determining the quality of education. History is dotted with outstanding educators – both famous and unknown – who have inspired, and continue to inspire, generations of people. Those of us fortunate enough to have had teachers who had made a positive impact in our lives will surely attest to the importance of qualified, dedicated and caring teachers.

Today, teachers have to meet vastly different demands and conditions. Besides imparting knowledge, they are expected to deal with students from diverse cultural, social and economic backgrounds, be sensitive to gender issues, promote tolerance, pay special attention to students with learning disabilities or behavioural problems, learn and apply new pedagogies and technologies, keep pace with current educational developments and initiatives, and all these in addition to administrative duties, extra-curricular assignments, parents and community engagements, and so on.

Are these demands realistic and appropriate? What should be the priorities of teachers as custodians of learning? How can we develop teachers as the powerhouses of education for the future we want? What policies must be in place to ensure that teachers can perform and contribute to the national, regional and global education goals? These are hard questions requiring honest answers.

To provide a forum for discussions on leading-edge thinking about teachers and teaching practices, UNESCO is organizing the 17th UNESCO-APEID International Conference, The Powerhouses of Education: Teachers for the Future We Want.

Incorporating lessons learned from several projects on teacher education supported by the Japan Funds-in-Trust and other partners, the conference aims to:

  • Increase understanding and knowledge about the teaching profession;

  • Showcase and promote innovative approaches, projects and practices that prepare teachers for their profession and enhance their performances;

  • Encourage national, regional and global collaboration to promote the teaching profession and revive teaching as a career of choice;

  • Facilitate networking and exchange of experiences among the participants.

Who should attend the Conference?

Anyone who is interested in discussing how education in general and learning in particular can contribute to a more humanistic, harmonious and sustainable living is welcome to attend the Conference, such as:

  • Members of National Commissions of UNESCO

  • Members of APEID Associated Centres and networks

  • Representatives of UNESCO and United Nations affiliate groups

  • Education ministers, policy makers and planners

  • Principals, leaders and administrators of educational institutions

  • Teachers, educators and trainers

  • Researchers and academicians

  • Students and representatives from youth groups

  • Representatives from international and non-government organizations and associations

  • Representatives from community and indigenous organizations

  • Representatives from business, industry and training organizations

Previous UNESCO-APEID Conference themes

1995:   Partnerships in Teacher Development for a New Asia

1996:   Re-engineering Education for Change: Educational Innovation for Development

1997:   Educational Innovation for Sustainable Development

1998:   Secondary Education and Youth at the Crossroads

1999:   Reforming Learning, Curriculum and Pedagogy: Innovative Visions for the New Century

2000:   Information Technologies and Educational Innovation for Development: Interfacing Global and Indigenous Knowledge

2001:   Using ICT for Quality in Teaching, Learning and Effective Management

2002:   Innovations in Secondary Education: Meeting the Needs of Adolescents and Youth in Asia and the Pacific

2003:   Educational Innovations for Development in Asia and the Pacific

2006:   Learning Together for Tomorrow: Education for Sustainable Development

2007:   Reinventing Higher Education: Toward Participatory and Sustainable Development

2009:   Quality Innovations for Teaching and Learning (postponed from 2008)

2009:   ICT Transforming Education

2010:   Education for Human Resource Development

2011:   Inspiring Education: Creativity and Entrepreneurship

2012:   The Heart of Education: Learning to Live Together