UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Vice President of Intel Corporate Affairs Group Shelly Esque signed a five-year Framework agreement on 13 April to build capacity in engineering and science worldwide, and harness information and communication technologies (ICTs) for educational advancement.
“We are longtime partners because there are strong synergies between Intel and UNESCO, combining new ideas and innovation with our policy drive for quality education,” said Mrs Bokova after the signing at UNESCO Headquarters. “This agreement opens new opportunities. There is a crying demand today for knowledge, science, education and new technologies, and we need to help Member States gain the full benefit of this knowledge and innovation for driving their development.” Ms Esque affirmed that UNESCO and Intel share similar goals, highlighting that the Framework agreement would open new doors.
UNESCO and Intel will work on improving and delivering learning tools on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for sustainable development, enhancing STEM capacities of universities, supporting the UNESCO Engineering Initiative through engineering education projects, and using ICTs in education policies and master plans. The agreement foresees a special focus on Africa, one of UNESCO’s global priorities, together with gender.
The agreement also seeks to enhance the participation of girls, disadvantaged students and women in STEM. UNESCO and Intel will cooperate on specific projects targeting girls and women as part of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women, which was launched in 2011 and focuses on secondary education and adult literacy, especially in Africa and Asia.
Intel and UNESCO have been cooperating since 2004 when the first Memorandum of Understanding, focusing on developing guidelines to improve the quality of ICT teacher training programmes, was signed.