Building peace in the minds of men and women

Good Practices | Asia & the Pacific


Heritage education in primary and secondary schools in Pakistan 

The UNESCO Office in Islamabad has supported efforts to incorporate heritage protection and cultural education into the primary and secondary school classroom. In the southern province of Sindh, local communities near the Makli Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage property, have engaged in a series of workshops to boost their role in preserving, protecting and promoting heritage sites, and to incorporate culture into classroom learning. In the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the results of an assessment of the secondary school curriculum on gaps in cultural learning have spearheaded the production of a set of booklets and educational materials based on local heritage and folklore to facilitate heritage learning in schools. Meanwhile, in the province of Punjab, communities living in the surrounds of the World Heritage-listed property Rohtas Fort have been engaged in workshops on heritage education, skills development and tour guide training.



Art For Education in Tam Ky, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Art For Education is a community art-based project initiated and facilitated by Teach For Vietnam’s Fellows and co-organized by Quang Nam Museum with support from schools, parents, local teachers and other community stakeholders. This creative art education programme targets secondary students in Quang Nam, and aims at encouraging learners develop their creative potential, cultivate their knowledge about local traditional arts, cultural practices and heritage, whilst developing aesthetic and emotional expression, collaboration, problem-solving and creativity competencies. Through 10-week study programmes, more than 40 secondary students have the opportunity to learn about Quang Nam’s cultural identity through artworks, artifacts, and patterns from traditional patterns of Dai Viet culture. They re-draw, create their own patterns on canvas, and participate in collective painting activities called “Circle Painting”, a method that stimulates collaboration.



Pilot project to strengthen and coordinate the implementation of culture and arts education in Cambodia’s education system 

Initiated by Cambodian Living Arts, supported by the Royal Government of Cambodia and UNESCO Phnom Penh Office, the MOU on a pilot project on arts education at Secondary Schools in Cambodia was signed on 17 Jan 2020. Through a new public-private partnership, Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), together with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA), UNESCO Cambodia and a number of non-governmental arts organizations, is implementing a 5-year pilot project to strengthen culture and arts education efforts in the Cambodian education system. CLA believes that arts are at the heart of a vital society, and that culture can play an essential role in the sustainable development of the country. The aim of the program is to develop creative and curious young people, ready to engage in their society and with a deep-rooted understanding of their own cultural context. The core concept of the project is to test a model of delivering culture and arts education through “Cluster Arts Centers”. This concept is based on a year-long process of research and development, which builds on the strengths and successes of existing culture and arts programs that are being carried out in partnership between arts NGOs and public schools, including CLA, Bophana Center, Krousar Thmey, Phare Ponleu Selpak and Epic Arts. 

Scholarships to support marginalized girls with music education in Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC) is a centre for musical studies that aims to create a proper learning environment for people, especially children and women, to receive proper music education. It not only uplifts the music education in Nepal, but also gives opportunities to underprivileged and marginalized boys and girls by enhancing their talent, empowering them to become artists and music educators in the future. UNESCO has been supporting KJC by providing scholarships to the marginalized young females and girls to help them achieve the education in music. Nepal has rich culture of art and music. In providing music education, we envision to build many musical artists and musical educators. 




Teaching traditional arts in the post-disaster Lombok, Indonesia

Arts education provides a platform for community post-disaster rehabilitation. As part of heritage emergency project, UNESCO Jakarta has led a series of activities to support the early recovery of the traditional weaver groups in the villages of Bayan and Pringgasela in the earthquake affected Lombok Province of Indonesia. In addition to a series of trainings on business planning, product innovation and marketing, the project also supported the rehabilitation of workshops, one of which in Bayan village became a weaving learning center for children and youth from the whole of neighborhood.   After school, no less than 20 children come every day to the center to learn not only the weavings but also traditional dance and other skills such as English conversation.  This tiny workshop is also serving as a visitor center for any tourists wishing to know about local tradition – thus becoming a place for exciting happenings for the villagers beyond weavers group. Having daily activities and hope for future acts as a best trauma healing in the difficult time of post-disaster recovery.  Teaching of traditional arts and culture in Lombok offered a space for intergenerational dialogues and entertainment while renewing community pride in their tradition. 


#BeCreative - Social Media Art Campaign in Bangladesh 

UNESCO Dhaka Office’s initiative #BeCreative activates culture and art as important tools to cope with the unprecedented situation caused by COVID-19, recognizing that artists and cultural professionals can play an important role and contribute during this crisis period. They are among the most vibrant, engaged and outspoken members of the society. Within this context, UNESCO Dhaka Office initiated the two-phased digital campaign (UNESCO website and Facebook) #BeCreative for artists and cultural professionals to help the general public including children and youth engage themselves creatively and have access to art and artists while staying home. These digital platforms display and share tips and practical hands-on demonstrations of simple and basic art and creative works by artists and cultural professionals that inspire and invite viewers to take them up, imitate them and ‘be creative’ from home.



Mongolian children learn with the innovative ‘Heritage in a Box’

The ‘Heritage in a Box’ toolkit is a customized educational tool developed by UNESCO and its partners for Mongolia, serving as an interactive and practical instrument to educate children on heritage protection and safeguarding, in line with SDG 4.7. From 2014, UNESCO Beijing Office engaged with teachers, educators and young learners to integrate heritage education into formal and non-formal education mechanisms in Mongolia. This resulted in improved learning opportunities for young boys and girls in a variety of areas directly related to their development, such as life skills, technical and vocational education, sustainable development, creativity and arts. The toolkit – comprising of teacher’s guidelines and activities with a strong focus on arts, was first piloted in selected schools of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage site, reaching 4,854 pupils (57% girls) of different grades. Based on positive results of the testing exercise, the instrument is currently being revised to reach a wider audience, comprising selected schools around all five World Heritage sites of Mongolia, schools belonging to the UNESCO Associated Schools Network, selected museums and lifelong learning centres.



Little Artists Exhibition supports education of children through arts and heritage in Kazakhstan and Central Asia

Awareness-raising on protection of the World Heritage sites in Kazakhstan and in Central Asia is one the priorities of the UNESCO Almaty office. Supported by the Almaty office and the Kazakhstan National Federation for UNESCO Clubs and implemented between 30 April and 16 May 2020, the ‘Little Artists’ initiative provided a very good opportunity to mobilize young children and encourage them to read about the World Heritage sites and draw their visions. It was identified that the paintings will be collected in 3 nominations – Petroglyphs of Tamgaly, Mausoleum of Khodja Akhmed Yassawi and Western Tian Shan. Almost 600 young participants send their art works from various provinces of Kazakhstan, and 35% of received art works are from rural areas. 





#ArtConnects Online Course in Central Asia supports children’s mental health and emotional state in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

Under the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office launched an online course to support children and adolescents from the most vulnerable groups in order to improve children’s mental health and emotional state for a better well-being and successful recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Thirty art masters conducted 58 online workshops on visual arts, calligraphy, choreography, applied arts, crafts, fine arts, culinary arts, literary arts, performance arts. The target audience was children with special needs. 90% of children participating in the #ArtConnect project are with developmental disabilities. The master classes, in addition to developing imagination and useful skills in children, give respite to parents as well. The cluster countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in this initiative.




Mobilizing Youth to Safeguard heritage by Storytelling – Mahabat Khan Mosque and Cobbler in Pakistan

The Culture part (Mobilizing Youth to Safeguard heritage) of the inter-sectorial project focuses on mobilizing school going and out of school youth to contribute to safeguard cultural heritage. This is achieved through engaging teachers, schoolchildren and community youth in art and heritage education, to equip them with knowledge, skills and behavior that nurtures respect for culture diversity, fosters creativity and critical thinking and develop understanding of cultural heritage for sustainable development. The animated video describes a story based on a folktale about a Mughal period Mahabat Khan Mosque of Peshawar. The theme of the story brings the construction of heritage and traditions of historic city in focus through an interesting story for children and community in Peshawar that demonstrates the importance of this heritage for the people. The storyboard prepared for it has presented the walled city of Peshawar, the gates of the walled city, the Qissa Khawani (Story Tellers) Bazaar and the Sethi Mohallah all of which are landmark heritage buildings of Peshawar. Teachers can use many elements of our interpretation of history to develop lesson plans, which is a part and parcel of activities of the Capacity Building Workshop.

Accessible online music education in Nepal

Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC) has a belief in the empowerment through music and music education in times of crisis. After the 2015 earthquake, KJC created the "Healing people with Music" project to provide free lessons during 3 months, hoping to encourage students to deal with trauma and loss through music. In this crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic, it still strives to provide quality music education to anybody who wants it through online learning. But in the current climate in Nepal, where most people have lost their primary source of income, including musicians and music educators, the responsibility continues to grow at KJC of keeping music educators employed and the school afloat. In its efforts to encompass both of these issues, KJC came up with a plan that will empower aspiring musicians and provide a job for the current teachers. The project consists of weekly free online master classes as well as heavily discounted short online courses. By these means, KJC provides students with the space to connect with others by music during this crisis and to encourage aspiring musicians to turn to creativity, once again, as means of processing the current situation. 


Using local Traditional Art in schools: An Integrated approach to teach students basic numeracy/literacy skills and create interest for culture in Pakistan

UNESCO Islamabad under its Girls’ Right to Education Programme (GREP) used an innovative approach and used local Truck Art as teaching aid in classroom and as advocacy tool for girls’ education in district Kohistan and Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The local artists painted classroom wall with Urdu, English alphabets, basic shapes and concepts using the bright colors, indigenous knowledge and skills of truck art. The painting process became interactive as girls picked up paintbrushes themselves and expressed their creativity. Local Truck owners featured positive messages on girls’ education on their traditionally painted vehicles. Bridges and buildings walls were painted with motifs from women’s traditional handicrafts with message and local proverbs favoring girls’ education. This approach helped in preserving and promoting the local art developed by rural women and truck artists. Using truck art in classroom helped in creating a learning supportive environment in the classroom and enhanced students’ interaction with in their local culture. Art competitions were organized in project schools to boost students’ creativity and their enhanced their interest in the local art.



Support to Girls’ Right to Education and Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Education in Pakistan

The Culture part of the project ‘Support to Girls’ Right to Education and Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Education in Pakistan’ focuses on mobilizing youth to safeguard cultural heritage. This is achieved through engaging teachers, schoolchildren and community youth in art and heritage education, to equip them with knowledge and skills to understand the significance of cultural heritage for sustainable development. In the Sindh component of the project students and teachers from eight boys and girls schools around the Makli World Heritage Site engaged through artwork, training and site visits. The purpose of the intervention was to nurture creativity and respect for heritage and cultural diversity as well as promote heritage entrepreneurship to link the site with livelihoods of the people and enable them to develop positive social behaviors to actively contribute to the protection of cultural and natural heritage of their community. In February 2020 an art competition in selected schools of Peshawar organized. The theme of the completion was “Art competitions as a method to safeguard culture and heritage”. The Cultural educators were engaged in the two-day orientation meeting (held on 3rd Feb 2020) to understand methodology for the art competition and learn about drawing and illustration as a methodology to document oral traditions. The cultural educators then executed engaging school teachers and school children.


Improving Educational Role of Museums in Pakistan

This is one component of the project, “Enhancing the education role of museums” organized by UNESCO-Pakistan. Through introducing an artwork space for children in the selected museums (Taxila, Islamabad, Hund and Chitral Museums) to engage them in learning and understanding their history in a more creative and interesting manner.  One of the reasons that students didn’t feel very welcome in the museums was lack of spaces for them where they could interact and work with others, have the freedom to explore and create things using their imagination or simply sit observe and draw objects that inspired them. UNESCO together with the financial support of Swiss Development Cooperation and in collaboration with its partners, The Little Art, FFT, THAAP and DOAM found key spaces inside the museum galleries or outdoor where work desks or spaces could be created for younger children to come and engage with the learning resources and materials including puzzles, activity sheets, and use their time at the museum more effectively.





Education through Dramatic Arts in Thailand

In 2010, Patravadi Mejudhon opened VIC Theatre as well as Patravadi School Hua Hin. The school, in conjunction with the theatre, implements teaching in the arts in through professionally taught workshops in mask-making, photography, bonsai, sculpture, botanical illustration, social media design, costume design, Buddhism through music, painting, and many others. The school also implements teaching through the arts by using dramatic performance as a medium for demonstrating understanding and application of the core curriculum in each subject. Each year, all students from grade 1 to grade 12 participate in writing scripts, making costumes and props, acting, working backstage, writing and playing music, designing light and sound production, and problem-solving throughout the entire process. Students learn to collaborate, cooperate, and gain new perspectives on the subjects they learn in class, as well as how to be effective in communicating and plan a project from start to finish. Students also plan and prepare a parade performance each year where they represent Hua Hin city in the Provincial Red Cross Fair.