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Literacy in a digital world at heart of International Literacy Day, 8 September 2017

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 11:45
30 August 2017

This year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes will be awarded to laureates from Canada, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan and South Africa on the occasion of International Literacy Day, celebrated on 8 September. This year’s Literacy Prizes and celebration will focus on literacy in a digital world.

The prize-giving ceremony will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters and be part of the Organization’s  global celebration of the Day, held in the context of the 2030 Education Agenda by which the international community has pledged to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

This year’s event will bring together stakeholders and decision-makers from different parts of the world to examine how digital technology can help close the literacy gap and gain better understanding of the skills needed in today’s societies. This is particularly important considering that 750 million illiterate people around the world, 63% of whom are women, still lack basic reading and writing skills. This population includes 102 million young people (aged 15-24), of whom 57% are female, according to UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

“Digital technologies permeate all spheres of our lives, fundamentally shaping how we live, work, learn and socialize,” says UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her message for the Day. She emphasizes the importance of rethinking and improving skills required to take part in the digital world: “These new technologies are opening vast new opportunities to improve our lives and connect globally—but they can also marginalize those who lack the essential skills, like literacy, needed to navigate them.”

At 5 pm on the Day, Ms Bokova will host the International Literacy Prizes ceremony during which each laureate will present their programmes and receive a medal and a monetary award.

The two awards of the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize dedicated to mother-tongue literacy education and training, sponsored by the Republic of Korea, will be given to:

Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance (CSLP) at Concordia University (Canada), for the Using Educational Technology to Develop Essential Educational Competencies in Sub-Saharan Africa project, which develops and distributes its material internationally free of charge.

We Love Reading (Jordan), a programme with a virtual community that offers online read-aloud trainings for parents,  mobilizes volunteers to read aloud in community spaces to children and provides age-appropriate material through a digital library.

The three awards of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, supported by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and rewarding work that benefits rural populations and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women, will be given to:

AdulTICoProgram of the Secretariat of Information and Communications Technologies of the city of Armenia (Colombia), for teaching digital competencies to seniors.

The Citizens Foundation (Pakistan) for its Aagahi Literacy Programme for Women and Out-of-School Girls, which conducts digital educational needs assessments and provides teaching services to support the education of younger girls and older women.

FunDza (South Africa) for its readers and writers project to develop a culture of reading and writing for pleasure through an online platform that provides reading courses and writing competitions as well as connecting readers and writers.

As part of International Literacy Day, the UNESCO-Pearson Initiative for Literacy: Improved Livelihoods in a Digital World, a partnership between UNESCO and Pearson, will present its first batch of case studies on how inclusive digital solutions can improve livelihoods.

 

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To cover International Literacy, journalists Day should request accreditation from Djibril Kebe, UNESCO Media Section, d.kebe@unesco.org, +33145681741

Feature stories concerning literacy are being posted daily on the International Literacy Day website (from 28 August to 8 September) and you can follow #LiteracyDay on UNESCO’s social media accounts, @UNESCO, for literacy updates. 

Categories: News

UNESCO and Thailand join forces to bolster astronomy and light science education

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 23:53
dg_vietnam_3_800px.jpg © UNESCO

On 29 August 2017, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova signed the Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand, H.E. Dr Atchaka Sibunruang, for the establishment in Chiang Mai, of the International Training Centre in Astronomy under the auspices of UNESCO.

This is the first institution of its kind in the network of UNESCO’s Category II centres, which will act as a knowledge transfer hub for young researchers, schools teachers and students from Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America, and collaborate closely with the International Basic Sciences Programme of UNESCO.

“Over the last hundred years, we have seen ground-breaking discoveries that have changed the way we see and understand the universe,” said the Director-General. “But there are still so many frontiers to explore -- and this is why ‘blue sky research’ and fundamental research has perhaps never been so important, for societies everywhere, for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, for humanity as a whole.”

“We must continue to push back the frontiers of knowledge -- and this can only be done through cooperation, through dialogue and exchange,” declared the Director-General. “This is the importance of the International Training Centre in Astronomy.” She welcomed the Institute’s focus on supporting school teachers and students, especially girls, drawing attention to the concurrent UNESCO international policy symposium on STEM education for girls taking place in Bangkok. 

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Atchaka Sibunruang noted the priority her country places on nurturing scientific talents and spreading scientific knowledge for sustainability. This includes the integration of science and technology across the school curriculum; strengthening connectivity in rural areas; the holding of large science fairs for children and youth, and the promotion of environmental protection and sustainable tourism.

The Director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, which will host the Centre, affirmed his commitment to advance “Astronomy for All” and deliver SDG projects that will address global challenges. The Centre is an initiative to follow up on the International Year of Light 2015 and the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

The signing ceremony took place at Government House, in the presence of H.E. Dr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Minister of Education and Chair of the National Commission for UNESCO.

Categories: News

New partnership with Canada to support early-career women scientists in the developing world

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:47
29 August 2017

UNESCO and Canada have begun a new partnership aiming to empower early career-women scientists to become leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and role-models for the next generation of female scientists. In this framework, Canada’s International Development Research Centre will provide 7,500,000 CAD to the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) over five years, thus joining Sweden as a major donor of OWSD.

OWSD was founded in 1987 and is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds, to strengthen their role in the development process and promote their representation in scientific and technological leadership. It provides research training, career development and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages in their careers. The network counts with nearly 6,000 members, 90% of which are women living and working in developing countries. Each member has the potential to contribute significantly to the technological advancement and economic growth of their countries. OWSD is hosted by The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), a UNESCO Programme based in Trieste, Italy.

The Canadian funds will serve to increase women's participation, leadership and influence in science, technology and innovation in Low and Middle Income Countries through fellowships and travel grants. They will also serve to tackle gender issues in STEM and engineering through workshops and trainings, and to support the OWSD – Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World.

The Awards reward and encourage women working and living in developing countries in the early stages of their scientific careers. Awardees must have made a demonstrable impact on the research environment both at a regional and international level and have often overcome great challenges to achieve research excellence. The award has an important impact on local research cultures. Previous winners say the awards have had a powerful effect, enhancing the visibility of their past work and creating new opportunities for the future.

This new partnership enables OWSD to broaden its scope of action substantially.

Related links:

Categories: News

Director-General denounces killing of war reporter Christopher Allen in South Sudan

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:18
29 August 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of journalist Christopher Allen who died in South Sudan on 26 August.

“I condemn the killing of Christopher Allen,” said the Director-General. “In keeping with the Geneva Conventions, journalists retain their civilian status in conflict situations. It is therefore the obligation of all parties to protect them.”

Christopher Allen, a freelance journalist from the USA, was killed while reporting on fighting in the town of Kaya in the southwest of the country. His work had been carried by leading media outlets including Al Jazeera (Qatar), Vice News (USA), and UK newspapers The Independent and The Telegraph.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Categories: News

Director-General to Inaugurate New UNESCO Premises in India

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 00:11

From 30 August to 2 September 2017, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, is undertaking an official visit to India, during which she will attend the inauguration of the premises of the UNESCO New Delhi Office, made possible thanks to the generous contribution of India and its Ministry of Human Resource Development. The ceremony will take place in the presence of H.E. Shri Prakash Javedakar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr Karan Singh, Member of Rajya Sabha and of UNESCO’s Executive Board, and Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of Bachpan Baacho Andolan.

During her official visit, the Director-General will take stock of the fruitful partnership between UNESCO and India and explore areas to strengthen it. She is expected to meet with a number of high-level government officials including the Minister for Human Resource Development and President of the UNESCO National for UNESCO, Prakash Javadekar; the Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma.

The Director-General will also address the closing session of an event on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) through education, organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), in New Delhi, and the closing session of the Regional Consultation of UNESCO National Commissions in South Asia. She will also participate in an event entitled “Talking Across Generations on Education”, organized by MGIEP, which will focus on ‘Harnessing the Indian youth demographic bulge for a true dividend: Vision to Action for 21st Century’.

While in India, Irina Bokova will also travel to Gujarat to hand over the World Heritage certificate for the newly inscribed World Heritage Site of the Historic City of Ahmadabad, to Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat. She also visit the Rani-ki-Vav (Queen’s Stepwell), a World Heritage Site located in Patan.

Categories: News

Director-General to Inaugurate New UNESCO Premises in India

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 00:11

From 30 August to 2 September 2017, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, is undertaking an official visit to India, during which she will attend the inauguration of the premises of the UNESCO New Delhi Office, made possible thanks to the generous contribution of India and its Ministry of Human Resource Development. The ceremony will take place in the presence of H.E. Shri Prakash Javedakar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr Karan Singh, Member of Rajya Sabha and of UNESCO’s Executive Board, and Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of Bachpan Baacho Andolan.

During her official visit, the Director-General will take stock of the fruitful partnership between UNESCO and India and explore areas to strengthen it. She is expected to meet with a number of high-level government officials including the Minister for Human Resource Development and President of the UNESCO National for UNESCO, Prakash Javadekar; the Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma.

The Director-General will also address the closing session of an event on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) through education, organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), in New Delhi, and the closing session of the Regional Consultation of UNESCO National Commissions in South Asia. She will also participate in an event entitled “Talking Across Generations on Education”, organized by MGIEP, which will focus on ‘Harnessing the Indian youth demographic bulge for a true dividend: Vision to Action for 21st Century’.

While in India, Irina Bokova will also travel to Gujarat to hand over the World Heritage certificate for the newly inscribed World Heritage Site of the Historic City of Ahmadabad, to Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat. She also visit the Rani-ki-Vav (Queen’s Stepwell), a World Heritage Site located in Patan.

Categories: News

Director-General condemns killing of journalist Cándido Ríos Vázquez in Mexico

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 12:41
25 August 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the shooting on 22 August of Cándido Ríos Vázquez, a Mexican journalist, in the town of Hueyapan de Ocampo in the state of Veracruz.

“I condemn the killing of Cándido Ríos Vázquez,” said the Director-General. “I urge the authorities to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to trial, so as to enhance journalists’ safety and their ability to inform the public without fearing for their lives.”

Ríos was a correspondent for the daily regional newspaper El Diario de Acayucan and had founded a local paper, La Voz de Hueyapan. At the time of his death, he was receiving protection from the Federal programme to safeguard journalists and human rights’ defenders under threat.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Categories: News

Director-General condemns killing of journalist Cándido Ríos Vázquez in Mexico

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 12:41
25 August 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the shooting on 22 August of Cándido Ríos Vázquez, a Mexican journalist, in the town of Hueyapan de Ocampo in the state of Veracruz.

“I condemn the killing of Cándido Ríos Vázquez,” said the Director-General. “I urge the authorities to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to trial, so as to enhance journalists’ safety and their ability to inform the public without fearing for their lives.”

Ríos was a correspondent for the daily regional newspaper El Diario de Acayucan and had founded a local paper, La Voz de Hueyapan. At the time of his death, he was receiving protection from the Federal programme to safeguard journalists and human rights’ defenders under threat.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists

****

Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Categories: News

‘Cracking the code’ to end gender disparities in STEM: UNESCO Director-General opens global symposium

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 11:18
cracking-code-stem-conference-opening-drupal.jpg © UNESCO/W.Field

A new global report on gender inequalities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education has been launched as a three-day event aimed at tackling barriers to development gets under way in Bangkok.

Girls and women are significantly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions worldwide, a divide rooted in girls’ earliest days of socialisation and schooling and one that a UNESCO international symposium opening here today aims to address.

“Science is a vocation that begins with a dream, with an aspiration. Today, too many girls are not encouraged to follow this dream,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her opening remarks at the three-day UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum, “Cracking the Code: Girls’ Education in STEM”.

“[The STEM gender gap] disempowers girls and women and throws a shadow over entire societies, placing a break on progress to sustainable development. In this new age of limits, when every country is seeking new sources of dynamism, no one can afford to shunt aside 50 percent of its creativity, 50 percent of its innovation.”

Ms Bokova officially launched UNESCO’s groundbreaking new global report, Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM, on the barriers stifling girls’ and women’s engagement in and contributions to the STEM fields, as well as practical solutions on how these barriers can be overcome.

The Cracking the code publication highlights the systemic impediments girls face at every step of their educational pathways that push them out of these fields. The study shows that by higher education, females represent only 35 percent of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study globally. Socialisation and learning processes that perpetuate the false stereotype that "STEM subjects are for boys" carry a pernicious influence.

The report recognises the multifaceted nature of the challenge and proposes a response that is equally comprehensive, including changes to teacher training, learning contents, materials and equipment, assessment methods and tools as well as the overall learning environment and socialisation process in school.

Tackling barriers to development

The symposium brings together more than 300 participants, from the highest level of educational policy-making and leading specialists to the field to pioneers in gender-equality in education in multiple cultural contexts and leading female role models who have excelled in their respective fields.

Participants will focus on four themes: gender-responsive quality STEM education; addressing stereotypes and bias hindering girls’ participation; reaching out, engaging and empowering girls and women; and partnerships, cross-sector learning and cooperation.

As the new report notes, girls need positive female role models in STEM. The UNESCO symposium brings together several such exemplars, including keynote speaker Aditi Prasad, COO of Robotix Learning Solutions, which runs the Indian Girls Code (ICG) initiative, providing free robotics and coding education to underprivileged girls.

Ms Prasad described launching ICG at an orphanage in the small city of Trichi in South India where the typical life cycle of a girl “would be completing free public school, joining a local tailoring shop, getting married and sending their children back to the same orphanage”. ICG sought to break this cycle by empowering girls with new skills. “Our dream is to see these girls… graduate from university and work in jobs that change their perspective, and thereby their entire family’s perspective and prospects,” Ms Prasad said. “That’s where our work starts. With a single girl and the opportunities we can afford her.”

In his opening remarks, Thai Vice-Minister of Education Dr Sophon Napathorn said the full realization of every citizen’s potential, including girls and women, is essential to national and global development – both his country’s “Thailand 4.0” plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “STEM education is currently integrated and will be extended to all schools nationwide. Thailand has also created a STEM education network to ensure that STEM is broadly spread across the country,” Dr Sophon said at the opening of the conference. “I firmly believe [the forum’s] success will suggest innovative ways for countries to introduce STEM education.”

Over the next three days, participants will explore the gender inequalities that still persist in STEM education, but also the innovative solutions empowering girls and women worldwide, and how these can be shared and replicated. The goal is for that work to have tangible consequences for girls’ outcomes far after the symposium’s completion.

“I see the face of the 2030 Agenda as a young teenager,” Ms Bokova said when launching the ‘Cracking the code‘ publication, “in school, not forced into marriage or work, empowered to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics – supported by her family and community to become everything she dreams … an engineer, a research, a medical doctor. Without this, no society will prosper.”

During her third visit to Thailand and first since 2012, the Director-General will also be signing the official MOU establishing the International Training Centre in Astronomy, a Category 2 centre under UNESCO, hosted by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand.

Categories: News

‘Cracking the code’ to end gender disparities in STEM: UNESCO Director-General opens global symposium

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 11:18
cracking-code-stem-conference-opening-drupal.jpg © UNESCO/W.Field

A new global report on gender inequalities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education has been launched as a three-day event aimed at tackling barriers to development gets under way in Bangkok.

Girls and women are significantly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions worldwide, a divide rooted in girls’ earliest days of socialisation and schooling and one that a UNESCO international symposium opening here today aims to address.

“Science is a vocation that begins with a dream, with an aspiration. Today, too many girls are not encouraged to follow this dream,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her opening remarks at the three-day UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum, “Cracking the Code: Girls’ Education in STEM”.

“[The STEM gender gap] disempowers girls and women and throws a shadow over entire societies, placing a break on progress to sustainable development. In this new age of limits, when every country is seeking new sources of dynamism, no one can afford to shunt aside 50 percent of its creativity, 50 percent of its innovation.”

Ms Bokova officially launched UNESCO’s groundbreaking new global report, Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM, on the barriers stifling girls’ and women’s engagement in and contributions to the STEM fields, as well as practical solutions on how these barriers can be overcome.

The Cracking the code publication highlights the systemic impediments girls face at every step of their educational pathways that push them out of these fields. The study shows that by higher education, females represent only 35 percent of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study globally. Socialisation and learning processes that perpetuate the false stereotype that "STEM subjects are for boys" carry a pernicious influence.

The report recognises the multifaceted nature of the challenge and proposes a response that is equally comprehensive, including changes to teacher training, learning contents, materials and equipment, assessment methods and tools as well as the overall learning environment and socialisation process in school.

Tackling barriers to development

The symposium brings together more than 300 participants, from the highest level of educational policy-making and leading specialists to the field to pioneers in gender-equality in education in multiple cultural contexts and leading female role models who have excelled in their respective fields.

Participants will focus on four themes: gender-responsive quality STEM education; addressing stereotypes and bias hindering girls’ participation; reaching out, engaging and empowering girls and women; and partnerships, cross-sector learning and cooperation.

As the new report notes, girls need positive female role models in STEM. The UNESCO symposium brings together several such exemplars, including keynote speaker Aditi Prasad, COO of Robotix Learning Solutions, which runs the Indian Girls Code (ICG) initiative, providing free robotics and coding education to underprivileged girls.

Ms Prasad described launching ICG at an orphanage in the small city of Trichi in South India where the typical life cycle of a girl “would be completing free public school, joining a local tailoring shop, getting married and sending their children back to the same orphanage”. ICG sought to break this cycle by empowering girls with new skills. “Our dream is to see these girls… graduate from university and work in jobs that change their perspective, and thereby their entire family’s perspective and prospects,” Ms Prasad said. “That’s where our work starts. With a single girl and the opportunities we can afford her.”

In his opening remarks, Thai Vice-Minister of Education Dr Sophon Napathorn said the full realization of every citizen’s potential, including girls and women, is essential to national and global development – both his country’s “Thailand 4.0” plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “STEM education is currently integrated and will be extended to all schools nationwide. Thailand has also created a STEM education network to ensure that STEM is broadly spread across the country,” Dr Sophon said at the opening of the conference. “I firmly believe [the forum’s] success will suggest innovative ways for countries to introduce STEM education.”

Over the next three days, participants will explore the gender inequalities that still persist in STEM education, but also the innovative solutions empowering girls and women worldwide, and how these can be shared and replicated. The goal is for that work to have tangible consequences for girls’ outcomes far after the symposium’s completion.

“I see the face of the 2030 Agenda as a young teenager,” Ms Bokova said when launching the ‘Cracking the code‘ publication, “in school, not forced into marriage or work, empowered to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics – supported by her family and community to become everything she dreams … an engineer, a research, a medical doctor. Without this, no society will prosper.”

During her third visit to Thailand and first since 2012, the Director-General will also be signing the official MOU establishing the International Training Centre in Astronomy, a Category 2 centre under UNESCO, hosted by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand.

Categories: News

Bangkok: A global call to advance STEM Education for Girls

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 10:26
dg_bkk_stem_1.jpg © UNESCO

Director-General Irina Bokova launched the first ever global report on Girls’ Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, “Cracking the Code”, at the UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum that opened in Bangkok on 28 August 2017.

The event, co-organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the Institute for the Promotion of Science and Technology at the Ministry of Education of Thailand, brought together some 350 participants from over 70 countries, to understand the factors fueling gender disparities in STEM, share positive experiences in bridging the gap and chart the way forward. It was generously supported by the CJ Group.

Opening the event, the Director-General asserted that “the Sustainable Development Goals call upon every society to harness scientific talent to find solutions, to improve health, nutrition, resource management, environmental protection… We need the talent of girls and women to search, to discover. This is a matter of progress and social inclusion in all countries, and it is why this Conference is so important, to understand, to share experiences and to launch new avenues of action and cooperation.”

Noting that only 17 women have won a Nobel Prize in in physics,chemistry or medicine compared to 572 men, Ms Bokova said that “such deep inequalities are the result of a wide range of factors, starting with social, cultural and gender norms that influence how girls and boys are brought up, how they learn and interact with family, friends, teachers and the wider community, which shape their identity, behavior and choices. This disempowers girls and women throws a shadow over entire societies, placing a break on progress to sustainable development.”

To address the complex factors that are holding girls back from pursuing a STEM vocation, she emphasized the need for research, partnerships and policies to support them from their earliest years in school right through their careers.

In his opening remarks, the Vice Minister of Education of Thailand Dr Sophon Napathorn underlined his country’s commitment to integrate STEM subjects across the curriculum and to prepare all citizens to contribute to sustainable development through innovation and creativity. He noted that Thailand is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to pilot the UNESCO “STEM and Gender Advancement” project to identify gaps, develop indicators and promote successful policies. He also informed about plans to launch a regional center for STEM education through the South East Asian Ministers of Education organization.

In a keynote, Aditi Prasad, Chief Operating Officer of Robotix Learning Solutions, based in India, shared her inspiring mission to educate young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn to code and become innovators. Starting in a girls’ orphanage, the Indian Girls Code to bridge the gender gap in STEM has extended to many children across South India. She also emphasized the importance of encouraging boys and girls to work, learn and create together on technology, so that they become genuine equals – this is where change begins.”

This was followed by a ministerial panel, facilitated by BBC anchor Zeinab Badawi, during which challenges, lessons and best practices from Ghana, Jamaica, Senegal, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates were shared. These have involved a range of interventions from curricula reform and project-based teaching and learning strategies to national contests in STEM subjects for girls, career counseling and mentoring through female role models.

«We see so much political will and good examples that show what can be done, » said the Director-General. «We have to mobilize all actors around this goal and create a global movement  to encourage girls’ and women to follow STEM studies and careers, because science needs women and women need science.»

Categories: News

Bangkok: A global call to advance STEM Education for Girls

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 10:26
dg_bkk_stem_1.jpg © UNESCO

Director-General Irina Bokova launched the first ever global report on Girls’ Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, “Cracking the Code”, at the UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum that opened in Bangkok on 28 August 2017.

The event, co-organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the Institute for the Promotion of Science and Technology at the Ministry of Education of Thailand, brought together some 350 participants from over 70 countries, to understand the factors fueling gender disparities in STEM, share positive experiences in bridging the gap and chart the way forward. It was generously supported by the CJ Group.

Opening the event, the Director-General asserted that “the Sustainable Development Goals call upon every society to harness scientific talent to find solutions, to improve health, nutrition, resource management, environmental protection… We need the talent of girls and women to search, to discover. This is a matter of progress and social inclusion in all countries, and it is why this Conference is so important, to understand, to share experiences and to launch new avenues of action and cooperation.”

Noting that only 17 women have won a Nobel Prize in in physics,chemistry or medicine compared to 572 men, Ms Bokova said that “such deep inequalities are the result of a wide range of factors, starting with social, cultural and gender norms that influence how girls and boys are brought up, how they learn and interact with family, friends, teachers and the wider community, which shape their identity, behavior and choices. This disempowers girls and women throws a shadow over entire societies, placing a break on progress to sustainable development.”

To address the complex factors that are holding girls back from pursuing a STEM vocation, she emphasized the need for research, partnerships and policies to support them from their earliest years in school right through their careers.

In his opening remarks, the Vice Minister of Education of Thailand Dr Sophon Napathorn underlined his country’s commitment to integrate STEM subjects across the curriculum and to prepare all citizens to contribute to sustainable development through innovation and creativity. He noted that Thailand is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to pilot the UNESCO “STEM and Gender Advancement” project to identify gaps, develop indicators and promote successful policies. He also informed about plans to launch a regional center for STEM education through the South East Asian Ministers of Education organization.

In a keynote, Aditi Prasad, Chief Operating Officer of Robotix Learning Solutions, based in India, shared her inspiring mission to educate young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn to code and become innovators. Starting in a girls’ orphanage, the Indian Girls Code to bridge the gender gap in STEM has extended to many children across South India. She also emphasized the importance of encouraging boys and girls to work, learn and create together on technology, so that they become genuine equals – this is where change begins.”

This was followed by a ministerial panel, facilitated by BBC anchor Zeinab Badawi, during which challenges, lessons and best practices from Ghana, Jamaica, Senegal, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates were shared. These have involved a range of interventions from curricula reform and project-based teaching and learning strategies to national contests in STEM subjects for girls, career counseling and mentoring through female role models.

«We see so much political will and good examples that show what can be done, » said the Director-General. «We have to mobilize all actors around this goal and create a global movement  to encourage girls’ and women to follow STEM studies and careers, because science needs women and women need science.»

Categories: News

Director-General in Thailand for International Symposium on Girls’ Education in STEM

Unesco Most Programme - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 00:10

From 27 to 29 August, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova is undertaking an official visit to Thailand on the occasion of UNESCO’s international symposium on “Cracking the Code: girls’ education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).” During the event, which will take place in the presence of H.E. Dr Sophon Napathorn, Deputy Minister of Education of Thailand, UNESCO will launch a global report examining the status of girls’ education in STEM worldwide and factors influencing girls’ participation, achievement and progress in STEM studies.

During her official visit, the Director-General is expected to meet with the Prime Minister of Thailand, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Don Pramudwinai, the Minister of Education, Mr Terrakiat Jareonsettasin, and other senior government officials, to take stock of UNESCO’s cooperation with the country, which joined the Organization in 1949 and hosts its regional bureau on education for Asia and the Pacific.   

In this context, the Director-General will visit the renovated premises of the Office, funded by the Royal Thai Government, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand, H.E. Dr Atchaka Sibunruang, for the establishment in Chiang Mai, of the International Training Centre in Astronomy under the auspices of UNESCO. 

Irina Bokova will also pay tribute to His Majesty the late King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away in October 2016 at the age of 88. Acceding to the throne in 1946, he was the world’s longest serving constitutional monarch, and a passionate advocate for the “philosophy of the sufficiency economy,” which resonates with UNESCO’s vision and priorities. 

During the visit, she will give a keynote lecture on “Global Challenges and UNESCO’s Soft Power Vision,” in which she will make the case the development and ethical case for investment in quality education, scientific innovation and culture to shape more resilient, green and inclusive knowledge societies, setting this in the context of the legacy of the late King as well as Thailand’s 4.0 strategy.

Categories: News

Director-General in Thailand for International Symposium on Girls’ Education in STEM

Unesco Most Programme - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 00:10

From 27 to 29 August, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova is undertaking an official visit to Thailand on the occasion of UNESCO’s international symposium on “Cracking the Code: girls’ education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).” During the event, which will take place in the presence of H.E. Dr Sophon Napathorn, Deputy Minister of Education of Thailand, UNESCO will launch a global report examining the status of girls’ education in STEM worldwide and factors influencing girls’ participation, achievement and progress in STEM studies.

During her official visit, the Director-General is expected to meet with the Prime Minister of Thailand, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Don Pramudwinai, the Minister of Education, Mr Terrakiat Jareonsettasin, and other senior government officials, to take stock of UNESCO’s cooperation with the country, which joined the Organization in 1949 and hosts its regional bureau on education for Asia and the Pacific.   

In this context, the Director-General will visit the renovated premises of the Office, funded by the Royal Thai Government, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand, H.E. Dr Atchaka Sibunruang, for the establishment in Chiang Mai, of the International Training Centre in Astronomy under the auspices of UNESCO. 

Irina Bokova will also pay tribute to His Majesty the late King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away in October 2016 at the age of 88. Acceding to the throne in 1946, he was the world’s longest serving constitutional monarch, and a passionate advocate for the “philosophy of the sufficiency economy,” which resonates with UNESCO’s vision and priorities. 

During the visit, she will give a keynote lecture on “Global Challenges and UNESCO’s Soft Power Vision,” in which she will make the case the development and ethical case for investment in quality education, scientific innovation and culture to shape more resilient, green and inclusive knowledge societies, setting this in the context of the legacy of the late King as well as Thailand’s 4.0 strategy.

Categories: News

UNESCO lays the groundwork for closer collaboration with Ho Chi Minh City

Unesco Most Programme - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 22:22
dg_vietnam3_800px.jpg © UNESCO

Vietnam’s largest city requires more skilled human resources and creativity to move towards a knowledge-based economy, asserted Mr Nguyen Thin Nhan, Member of the Politburo and Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, during a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on 26 August 2017.

Thanking the Director-General for UNESCO’s strong support to the development of Viet Nam, Mr Nhan evoked some of the social challenges that have accompanied the rapid economic growth of this city of 9 million people, ranging from the provision of education and healthcare services to air and water pollution.  The meeting explored opportunities for strengthened collaboration around education and skills, cultural industries and climate change mitigation. 

“Human resources have been key to our development. Now our focus is on building the capacity to become a knowledge-based economy and to catch up with the region in terms of our labour force, “ said Mr Nhan, referring to the forthcoming adoption of a Smart City Project that will promote connectivity, online education and citizen participation. 

Having visited several emblematic historical sites in and around Ho Chi Minh City prior to the meeting, the Director-General expressed praise for “the passionate dedication of the Vietnamese people for independence against aggression and their incredible will to move towards prosperity, growth and inclusion.” She concurred that innovation, creativity and the development of human capital were key to building knowledge societies. 

In the light of  the National Strategy for the Development of Cultural Industries in Viêt Nam toward 2020, Ms Bokova also encouraged Ho Chi Minh City to consider joining the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, noting the contribution of culture to social cohesion, development and job creation. Mr Nanh warmly welcomed the suggestion, noting the ambition to learn from other cities and to share expertise. 

In response to concerns expressed by Mr Nanh on the rising sea level and water salination in Ho Chi Minh City, the Director-General pledged to mobilize UNESCO’s expertise and platforms, noting the potential for expanded collaboration in this area.   Mr Nanh also conveyed the city’s pride to count the nearby Can Gio as one of Viet Nam’s nine biosphere reserves, and assured of his resolve to comply with UNESCO’s practices for its sustainable management. 

Prior to the meeting, Ms Bokova toured the extensive complex of Cu Chi Tunnels that is a lasting symbol of Viêt Nam’s determination and resilience during times of struggle for national independence and reunification. She also visited both the Reunification Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum, where she paid tribute to the remarkable achievements of the founding father of modern Viêt Nam, whose birth centenary was celebrated by UNESCO in 1990 with a special resolution.

Categories: News

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