UNESCO’s nine Centres in Education came together for their fourth biennial meeting in Manila, Philippines, hosted by the UNESCO South East Asia Centre of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA CLLSD).
Opening the meeting which took place on 25-27 May 2015, Dr Patricia B. Licuanan, Secretary of the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines (Minister of Higher Education, remarked on how timely it was starting a day after the adoption of the Incheon Declaration at the World Education Forum.
UNESCO's Category II Centres in Education are specialised in early childhood, education planning, gender equality, global citizenship, lifelong learning, literacy, sustainable development and teacher development. They are based in Burkina Faso, China, Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic and United Arab Emirates.
Dr Lucio Sia, Executive Director of the UNESCO SEA CLLSD said the gathering was “an excellent opportunity for all our centres to be able to converge and discuss plans and programmes for education, to continue to grow and adapt.”
Mr Svein Osttveit, Executive Director of the Education Sector of UNESCO emphasized the importance of education “not only for economic growth but also for poverty reduction, equality and inclusion”.
During the meeting Undersecretary Jan Co Chua of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) quoted the Filipino writer Conrado de Quiros: “The day the poor refuse to give up, the day they rule to pick up schooling again, the day they do everything they need to do to survive but yet dream of more than surviving -- they stop being poor.”