Building peace in the minds of men and women

Ministers of Education consider promoting literacy through affordable Technologies

Paris, 06 November 2013 - Ministers of Education and high-level representatives from 33 countries, as well as development partners, met during UNESCO’s 37th session of the General Conference in Paris to discuss the use of affordable technologies to accelerate progress in literacy.

In the discussion, Ministers shared their experiences on the relevance of mobile technology to their diverse national contexts, raising issues such as linguistic diversity, availability and appropriateness of infrastructure, teachers’ capacities, and sustainability of interventions that need to be considered in capitalizing on the potential of evolving technologies.      

In her opening remarks, Ms Mmantsetsa Marope, Director of the Division for Basic Learning and Skills Development of UNESCO highlighted global literacy challenges and UNESCO’s continued engagement to scale up efforts, which requires bringing information and communication technologies into the equation.

The idea of ensuring a multi-stakeholder partnership for literacy that builds on the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012) and other existing initiatives was shared by Ms Marope, Mr.Arne Carlsen, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, Mr Dan Wagner, UNESCO Chair on Literacy and Learning, and Mr Venkata Subbarao Ilapavuluri, Chief of Section for Literacy and Non-Formal Education of UNESCO. 

Mr Steven Duggan, Director, Worldwide Education Strategy of Microsoft, highlighted Microsoft’s initiatives to expand access to literacy learning and create a literate environment. 

The discussion was hosted by UNESCO and its partners, Microsoft and Nokia, and was moderated by Mr Adama Ouane, Director of the UNESCO Field Office in Haiti.