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Ethics Teachers’ Training Courses in Asia

This year UNESCO has hosted four Ethics Teacher’s Training Courses (ETTC) in the Asia Pacific Region, with over 100 participants from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, China, Saudi Arabia, Laos, and Iran.

The ETTC is a one week course designed to improve the teaching skills and provide teaching tools for tertiary level ethics teachers. The focus is on participatory and interactive learning, communication skills and fostering critical thinking.

UNESCO started its program on the ethics of science and technology in 1993 due to the growing recognition that advances in science and technology were creating new social and moral challenges for the world. The Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005) forms the content basis of the UNESCO core curriculum in bioethics (, a comprehensive foundation course on bioethics.

The ETTC program was developed in 2010 to complement the core curriculum by providing teachers with tools to teach bioethics, in particular by using real life situations or “cases” which challenge legal definitions, religious perspectives and human rights.

The 2014 courses are the first to be held in Asia and launch the program for the region. Courses have been held in Chennai, India (January 2015), Dhaka, Bangladesh (October 2015), Shenzhen, China (October 2014) and Nashik, India (November 2015).

UNESCO also signed MOUs with three universities to provide continued capacity building on bioethics and ethics teaching. These are the University of the Environment, Iran; the Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh; and the University of the Philippines.

“We are making efforts to make the training more accessible and affordable by having it in different countries around the region and by including trainers that speak our region’s languages such as Chinese and Russian,” said Dr Sue Vize, Regional Adviser for Social and Human Sciences.

“This year we have translated the first training materials into Chinese (Mandarin) and provided training of trainers for Bahasa-, Chinese- and Russian-speaking trainers. We want to continue to build our capacity in this way to have a network of trainers from the region and a series of local resource materials with cases from Asia and the Pacific.”

UNESCO ETTC courses and materials are provided free of charge but participants must cover their own travel and local expenses such as accommodation and meals. All materials are free to download from the UNESCO website.

One final course in Almaty, Kazakhstan (November 2015) will complete the first year of trainings.

For further information contact Sue Vize, UNESCO Bangkok