Three key initiatives of UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education will receive US$3 million in support from the Republic of Korea (ROK) following the recent signing of three memoranda of understanding (MOUs).
Earlier this month, UNESCO and the Republic of Korea signed the MOUs, which provide for $1 million in funding for each of the three projects, with support starting this year and continuing until 2018. Funds will be administered under the Korea Funds-In-Trust (KFIT).
- The project, "Promoting intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace in South-East Asia through shared histories", seeks to develop and promote educational materials on the common histories of the sub-region. This initiative to foster peace and greater understanding among South-East Asian countries is timely, coming at a time of greater regional integration with the upcoming formation of the ASEAN economic and socio-cultural communities later this year.
- The second project addresses the essential role of educators in promoting GCE, which is increasingly becoming recognized as an important educational approach to answer modern challenges and nurture the values we need for more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and sustainable societies. The project, "Preparing teachers for global citizenship education", aims to increase improve GCE knowledge and delivery methods among teacher educators, teachers and school leaders.
- The third project focuses on the increasing trend of learners in Asia-Pacific staying within the region to pursue higher education and the obstacles they face due to a lack of standardization of credentials among countries. UNESCO initiated the project, “Developing Regional Quality Tools to Facilitate the Cross-Border Mobility of Students in Asia and the Pacific” to address these challenges. The project seeks to develop quality assurance systems that can ensure credentials from countries within the region are more compatible and comparable with one another to facilitate the cross-border mobility of learners.
These latest agreements of support and collaboration reflect a longstanding relationship dating back more than a half century to when the Republic of Korea first joined UNESCO. At that time, UNESCO worked with Korea to rebuild its educational system following the devastation of the Second World War. The country has since enjoyed a remarkable resurgence and to date is becoming one of the most important UNESCO donor, supporting projects in the fields of education, culture and sciences.