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UNESCO awards honor education

Each year, UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Center of Education selects the best cases for initiatives promoting understanding through education.

The 2010 Best Practice Awards were given to five reports out of 58 cases from 15 countries.

The Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding office in Seoul published five monographs for the best Education for International Understanding (EIU) from Bhutan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Uzbekistan.

“The center (APCEIU), under the auspices of UNESCO, has been engaged in various endeavors aimed at fulfilling its mandate since its inception,” center director Lee Seung-hwan told The Korea Herald.

Lee explained that the EIU Best Practices Program advocates “Learning to Live Together,”promoting the four pillars of education detailed in the report to UNESCO by the International Commission on Education for the 21st Century.
UNESCO APCEIU director Lee Seung-hwan (APCEIU)
UNESCO APCEIU director Lee Seung-hwan (APCEIU)

The report aims to “stimulate participatory learning and critical thinking to develop understanding of oneself and others,” he said.

Over the past four years, the EIU Best Practices have explored and supported many approaches to “Learning to Live Together.”

This year’s EIU Best Practices winner in Malaysia showed the relevance of EIU in a global era by highlighting the crucial bond between education and sustainable development, and helped students to reduce their carbon footprints and to influence local and global decision-makers.

The Pakistani winners’ project examines and disseminates the core issues of human rights, peace, harmony, diversity and equality.

The winners from the Philippines presented a culture-based education program for indigenous young people there.

The Uzbekistan team’s project integrates EIU concepts into their training curriculum at the National In-service Teacher Training Institute. The plan targets teachers, heads of educational departments, principals and local community leaders.

The Bhutan case discusses how school-based initiatives can successfully express EIU within the existing curriculum and highlights how innovative school activities optimize their Gross National Happiness framework and promotes understanding through education for children and their community.

Bhutan’s GNH was developed in an attempt to define an indicator that measures quality of life or social progress in more holistic and psychological terms than gross domestic product.

“May this case spread the inspiration to construct a more open, more equal, and more diverse education system, as well as motivate us to reflect on many other issues that are essential for building a more peaceful world,” Lee said. “I expect this project to provide a platform to share and exchange our experiences and perspectives.”

By Yoav Cerralbo (yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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