A strong word used by Dr. Ngo Sheau Shi, senior lecturer from the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia, in describing how fellow colleagues and experts shared updates and information in the South-South Cooperation networking. The notion was supported by Ms. Noor Hayati Uteh, Chief of the International Educational Development Unit, Ministry of Education Malaysia. Together, they were both the guest speakers for Sustainability Insight #18: Education as the Foundation of Inclusiveness: Leaving No One Behind organized on 5 October 2020 organized by UNESCO Jakarta and moderated by Prof. Shahbaz Khan, director of UNESCO Office in Jakarta, Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.
Dr. Ngo was involved in the Strengthening Media Capacity to Monitor and Report on Climate Change in Asia Pacific, a Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme, where she co-edited “Getting the Message Across: Reporting on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: A Handbook for Journalists”, a handbook for journalist on reporting on climate change. Using the handbook as part of her lecture, she clarified that the book is part of the output from the data and information gathered from the African region and shared via the Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP). The handbook serves as a guide for journalists in reporting essential aspects of climate change and climate justice, including highlighting vulnerable communities, especially women and girls and least developed countries. It can be used as a resource for journalists to understand the science of climate change and help them to improve reporting on the environmental, social, economic, political and technological angles of the story, among others. The handbook was also adapted into a massive open online course (MOOC), implemented by institution of journalism.
Part of the challenges in developing the handbook was to update the information and making it comprehensible to all layers of communities, in which Dr. Ngo mentioned the dedication of fellow experts and colleagues from across regions that pooled their knowledge together and helped overcome it.
Ms. Noor Hayati Uteh meanwhile shared her experience in the Ministry of Education Malaysia on implementing the Strengthening National Capacity for Sector Wide Planning to Achieve SDG4 in Asia-Pacific through South-South Cooperation: Africa Outreach. An expansion of the initial project involving Asia-Pacific, the project focused on life-long learning. The project created a platform to share on the experience in implementing government policies and strategies on youth and adult literacy, good practices in bridging gender gap in literacy, and innovative practices to improve access and learning outcome. Ms Noor further elaborated that Malaysia shared the experience on implementing multi-ministerial partnerships for lifelong learning and in improving literacy through rural community development and its adult literacy program, which is part of the of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025. She also shared that the project via MUCP, has strengthened networking and knowledge-sharing between academicians and policy makers, in which some of the practices of the African region can be implemented in in Malaysia, during the time of COVID-19.
Moderated by Prof. Shahbaz Khan, director of UNESCO Office in Jakarta, Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, he thanked the speakers and highlighted the significance of utilising the South-South Cooperation Platform, where various UNESCO Offices and institutions from Asia-Pacific shared their data and resources together to achieve the specific objectives, especially on evidence-based policy development.
He further stressed that the networking has produced a sustainable knowledge-sharing platform, even beyond the scope of the MUCP activities, and the initiative would benefit local, national and interregional activities, through using institutions such as universities and UNESCO Chairs. He concluded by stressing that the lessons learned were available and the excitement is now is to share it to the global communities.
The recording of the webinar can be viewed here.