Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rebuilding the Mosques in Iraq

Askariya Before the Bombing

The bombing on February 22 of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq was a purposefully outrageous act, in the original sense that it deliberately provoked outrage.

CNN tells us this of the 1,200-year-old Askariya shrine:
# The Golden Mosque is one of the four major Shiite shrines in Iraq. The other major sites are in Najaf, Kerbala and the Baghdad district of Kadhimiya.

# Two of the 12 revered Shiite Imams are buried in the shrine. Imam Ali al-Hadi, who died in 868 AD and his son, the 11th Imam Hasan al-Askari, who died in 874 A.D.
The Golden Mosque was a beautiful building because a community of believers saw it as a symbol of their faith. It commemorated two men who were not only directly descended from the Prophet, but who were great leaders of their faith.

Retaliation lead to retaliation, and the process included more purposefully outrageous acts, including the desecration of many other mosques. More and more people have been outraged.

According to Relief Web,
The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General in Iraq Mr. Ashraf Qazi, confirmed on Monday, UN/UNESCO support to the Iraqi initiative to rebuild the Shrine of Imam Ali Al-Hadi and other damaged religious sites.
He indicated that the UN, through its Iraq trust fund and UNESCO with its technical expertise, are ready to assist in rebuilding the damaged complex.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and General George Casey, the commander of the coalition troops in Iraq, said,
Given the historic, cultural, and religious importance of this shrine, this attack is a crime against humanity. The Shrine should be rebuilt and the United States will contribute to its reconstruction.
Michael Southwick, a member of the Americans for UNESCO Board of Directors, stated:
I think it would be great if some American would spearhead a widely publicized effort to collect contributions here from Muslim and non-Muslim American alike.
I agree that it would be great if the American public were to raise money to rebuild the mosques that have been destroyed, Sunni and Shiite alike. Indeed, given the separation of church and state in this country, I think it would be better done through private philanthropy than through public funds. And I think Americans of all faiths would be willing to donate to show their support for the people of Iraq.
Askariya After the Bombing

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Financing a UNESCO Chair or Participation in an UNITWIN Network

Since 1992, UNESCO has worked to strengthen higher education in the developing world through the UNITWIN and UNESCO Chairs programs. These programs encourage higher education systems in the industrial world to build relationships and share research and expertise with institutions in developing countries as well as regions in transition.

UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs projects deal with training and research activities and cover all major fields of knowledge within UNESCO’s competence such as Education, Human Rights, Cultural Development, Environment, Basic and Engineering Sciences, Communication, etc. Thus far, 618 UNESCO Chairs and Networks have been established in 123 countries. A directory of existing projects is available online.

Each year, UNESCO designates approximately thirty new UNITWIN networks and UNESCO Chairs in total throughout the world; a majority is awarded to universities.


UNESCO Chairs are awarded each year to individual colleges, universities and research institutions to initiate programs that further research and training in one of UNESCO's fields of competence. A Chair may be established by reinforcing an existing teaching or research program and giving it an international dimension, or one may be established as a new teaching and research unit. More information on current Chairs can be found on the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs section of UNESCO's website.

UNITWIN Networks

Through the University Twinning and Network Scheme (UNITWIN), UNESCO matches colleges, universities and research institutions in industrialized countries with counterparts in the developing world to share information and knowledge in areas of need. Scholars who participate are often linked through web sites and portals, in addition to loaned faculty positions, trainings and conferences.

The Competitive Process

Selection of participants in this program is competitive, bases on project proposals, that are reviewed by UNESCO.

When the project proposal concerns the establishment of an inter-university network, it can be submitted either by the heads of all institutions involved, or by a single institution which takes the lead, acts as the focal point and ensures the development of the network.

UNESCO seeks the advice and endorsement of national commissions on these proposals, as part of its review process.

In the case of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, it will first screen applications, passing the successful ones to UNESCO itself. Its deadline for receipt of applications this year is March 27. Click here to go to the National Commission website for the program.

Scholars and institutions seeking to apply for a UNESCO Chair or to participate in the UNITWIN program should prepare application materials based on UNESCO's "Guidelines for the Submission of Project Proposals." More information can also be obtained in the UNESCO document "Procedures for the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme: A Practical Guide."

The deadline for receipt of the applications at UNESCO (after their review in the National Commission) is April 30.

Sources of Funding

UNESCO has limited resources. It sees the universities in countries like the United States as financing their own participation using domestic resources. (UNESCO can make some seed money available to universities in developing nations.)

For a U.S. university, this raises the question of where to obtain the resources needed to create a chair or participate in a network. Several U.S. government sources of funding seem possible:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds the "Higher Education for Development (HED) Program" which promotes higher education's engagement in social and economic development through institutional and human capacity building in developing countries. Between 1998 and 2005, ALO awarded funding to more than 250 partnerships in more than 60 countries.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), and its Office of International Science and Engineering, have a number of programs that might provide the funds needed for a UNESCO chair. The Partnerships for International Research and Education was run as a one-time, pilot competition in 2005. If the NSF chooses to hold additional competitions, the PIRE program would be an exceptional source of support.

The Fogerty International Center of the National Institutes of Health is primarily a source of funding for biomedical research. (Note that there is a Special Focus program on HIV/AIDS, which includes a center at Johns Hopkins University.) Fogarty research areas include the Health, Environment, and Economic Development (HEED) Program, the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) and International Studies on Health and Economic Development.

There are, in addition, thousands of foundations and other charitable organizations that might finance the efforts of a UNESCO Chair or network. The Foundation Center offers a searchable database of foundation programs, and your institution might well have subscribed to its online database. (Monthly subscriptions are not expensive, and you can search free of charge at the Center's offices in New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, or San Francisco. There are also cooperating collections in many states.

Check the Research Office of your university. They have information on sources of financing, and offer assistance in preparing proposals.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It is a good time for Yanks to seek UNESCO jobs.

UNESCO management, like that of other multilateral agencies, is concerned that the organization maintains a fair balance of staff from its member nations. It uses a formula to calculate the number of staff members it should have from each nation. In the case of the United States, it has estimated that there should be between 46 and 76 citizens on its staff. There are currently 32. Thus UNESCO might reasonably add another 30 Yanks to its staff!

Both UNESCO and the State Department are seeking qualified U.S. citizens for UNESCO jobs.

World Culture Report 2000: Cultural diversity, conflict and pluralism

Go to the UNESCO website for the report.

Aware of the need to delve further into the multi-layered concepts of cultural diversity, conflict resolution and pluralism, UNESCO produced this second edition of the World Culture Report, in which experts, statisticians and artists provide information and analysis and propose new concepts, insights and policy recommendations. The report appears to be out of print, but the website has a number of tables online providing data up to the year 2000 about interesting cultural indicators.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Visit to Cahokia Mounds, A World Heritage Site

I was fortunate to visit the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois last weekend. It is a few miles away from St. Louis. The illustration above, based on the mural at the Interpretive Center, shows the largest pyramid and central plaza of the town, as it is imagined to have existed at its zenith about the year 1100. Notice the stockade, two miles long, that surrounded this central portion of the town.

Cahokia Mounds is one of only twenty (20) UNESCO World Heritage sites in the United States (including two sites jointly administered with Canada). (Click here for the National Parks Service website for the sites.) It proudly flies the UN flag, to indicate it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to TheSalmons.org, "Cahokia is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. It was occupied primarily during the Mississippian period (800-1400). It is an example of a complex agricultural chiefdom society, with many satellite mound centers and numerous outlying hamlets and villages."

The site includes the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas (shown above). This is a structure comparable in size to the great pyramid of Egypt and the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico. Called "Monks Mound" (after the Trappist monks who settled the site in the 19th century) it covers 14 acres, rises 100 feet, and was originally topped by a massive 5,000 square-foot building another 50 feet high.

Monk's Mound was the largest of 120 earthen mounds built over an area of six square miles. (Only 80 survive today.) The builders of this city moved some 55 to 60 million cubic feet of earth, using only woven baskets, to create their network of mounds and community plazas.

Woodhenge, partially restored on its original site, was a circle of large wooden posts more than 400 feet in diameter. While its full significance is not understood, some of the posts appeared to mark the winter and summer salstices and the fall and spring equinoxes. The town was built in a diamond shape, marked out by large mounds at the corners, and suggesting surveying abilities even beyond those demonstrated by the central plaza and its edifices.

By AD 1050-1150, the Cahokia site was the regional center for the Mississippian culture with many satellite communities, villages and farmsteads for hundreds of miles around it. At is peak, it is estimated to have had some 20,000 inhabitants, making it larger at the time than Paris or London.

It was the center of a trading network that extended to Wisconsin in the north, Florida in the south-east, and Mexico in the south-west. It was a farming community, growing corn, squash, Jerusalem artichokes and other crops in the rich soil of the Mississippi river bottoms. The inhabitants added meat and fish to their diet by hunting and fishing.

The society that built this city was sophisticated, with a mastery of trade, agriculture, building and other technology, and indeed some scientific knowledge! It was a complex, stratified society.

After AD 1200, the population began to decline and the site was abandoned by AD 1400. It is not clear what happened to the descendents of the Mississippian culture, but it is believed that some still preserved traditions of their forefathers into historic times, allowing them to be recorded by early European explorers.

The Cahokia Mounds Interpretive Center is beautifully organized, in a fine building, and provides examples of the sophisticated pottery and stone artifacts found at the site, as well as exhibits eplaining the way the original inhabitants of the site lived.

I was amazed to learn that only a very small portion of the site has been explored by professional archaeologists, and much of the archaeology that has been done was rescue archaeology. Thus, major excavations were done when a highway was built through the site, and when the Interpretive Center was built.

We visited the site on a very cold day, and there were very few other visitors. Given the importance of this site, its extremely interesting "mounds", and its proximity to a large city (that was hosting the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the time), I would have expected many more people on a clear, weekend morning.

This is not a national park nor a national monument. Much of the area of archaeological interest is not protected, and there is even an abandoned modern building on the site. This should be an important economic asset for the local community, drawing visitors not only from the United States, but from other countries. It does not seem to be adequately developed, nor adequately publicized for such a purpose. Indeed, I think all Americans should know of this site, but I suspect very few do.

Were it not for having been recognized by UNESCO in 1982 as an important part of the world's heritage, this site might be still less known and appreciated in the United States. That would be unfortunate, because it is a site that sheds significant light on our history and culture!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Diplomacy helps Ethiopia regain its historical landmark

Read the full article in the Angola Press.

Italy has returned Ethiopia`s 1,700-year-old obelisk that was looted by dictator Benito Mussolini in 1937, and the Italian government is paying for restoring the 24-metre tall granite, weighing 150 tons, at its original site of Axum in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. According to BBC News, "The Axum obelisk is regarded as one of Ethiopia's national religious treasures."

The return and restauration of the obelisk "is a very difficult and unprecedented operation," said Francesco Bandarin, director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, which is coordinating the restoration in collaboration with Ethiopia`s culture and tourism ministry. "The engineering process is based on the philosophy of `zero risk` for the obelisk to be reinstalled in its former place and intact. We have to make sure the site is not damaged," Bandarin told journalists in Addis Ababa.

The peaceful resolution of a half century old dispute between nations is a great example of UNESCO's role in international cultural affairs.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

UNESCO at 60: 60 weeks 60 themes

This website provides a wonderful introduction to UNESCO. In celebration of the 60 years since its creation, UNESCO has chosen to highlight a major area of its activity on its website each week for 60 weeks. The website provides links to all of the highlights published to date in chronological order.

The New Courier: UNESCO at 60

This 60th anniversary issue marks a new format for the New Courier. Bridging the tranformation of the paper edition into a full fledged e-magazine, this special edition presents articles on ten key subjects, providing web links for each article to guide the user towards more information from the UNESCO portal.

The themes explored are as follows:

# Education For All
# Oceans
# Heritage
# Copyright
# Bioethics
# Environment
# Cultural diversity
# Water
# Digital Divide
# Crises and emergencies

The Sixth E-9 Ministerial Meeting on Education

Ministers from the nine countries with the largest populations are meeting in Mexico from February 13th to 15th to discuss Education for All. The nine countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan) account for over half of the world’s school-age population, 45 percent of the 100 million children who are out-of-school and over 70 percent of the 771 million adult illiterates around the globe.

The meeting is part of the UNESCO Education for All program.

The E-9 Initiative was launched in 1993, In New Delhi, India, on the occasion of the EFA Summit of the Nine High-Population countries. Heads-of-state or government of the so called E-9 countries ('E' for education and 9 for nine countries) at the meeting pledged to universalize primary education and significantly reduce illiteracy in their respective countries.

At the close of the meeting today, the ministers are to adopt a joint communiqué. Concluding remarks are to be presented by the Minister of Education of Mexico, the Director-General of UNESCO, and a representative of Indonesia, where the next E-9 meeting will be held.

The Director-General of UNESCO and the ministers will give a press conference at 6 p.m. today, February 15.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Impact of Free Primary Education on Early Childhood Development in Kenya"

Click here to read the full issue No. 30 of the UNESCO Policy Brief on Early Childhood series.


"Free Primary Education (FPE), introduced in Kenya in 2003, has enabled 1.3 million poor children to benefit from primary education for the first time through the abolishment of fees and levies for tuition. The gross enrolment rate in primary education jumped from 86.8% in 2002 to 101.5% in 2004.

"Though intended to boost primary education, FPE has had consequences in other areas of education, including early childhood development (ECD). The purpose of the present brief is to discuss the impact of FPE on ECD in Kenya and to outline two major policy options that may mitigate possible negative impact."

Ministers from nine high population countries meet in Mexico to review Education for All progress

Read the full UNESCO press release.

"The Sixth E-9 Ministerial Review Meeting on Education for All will take place in Monterrey (Mexico), 13–15 February. Organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the government of Mexico, the meeting will assess progress towards the goal of providing quality education for all in nine of the world’s high-population countries. The President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada, and the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, will open the meeting. The education ministers of Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan will then review the challenges facing their countries with a view to increasing bilateral and collective cooperation."

U.S. Polish Cooperation on World Heritage Site

"The United States helped preserve the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Poland that has been mined since the 13th century. Its nine levels contain 300 kilometers of galleries where works of art, altars and statues are sculpted in the salt."

This is part of the announcment of a new Science Cooperation pact between the United States and Poland.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity

UNESCO's Global Alliance supports cultural diversity by strengthening cultural industries, such as music, cinema, and publishing, in developing countries. It promotes respect for intellectual property rights and encourages public-private partnerships between its members.

Note the materials on the 21 Dec 2005" - "The World Summit on Arts and Culture.


Go to the Conference annoumcement.

February 22-23-24, 2006, Brazzaville, Congo - Organised by the UNESCO Office in Brazzaville in cooperation with Forum des jeunes entreprises, Congo in the framework of UNESCO’s Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity in partnership with the Danish Centre for Culture and Development

The Forum will bring together a number of African civil society institutions and cultural enterprises with a view to developing a strategy for cultural South-South cooperation between the multiple private stakeholders of the creative chain in the region that is based on transfer and sharing of knowledge, competences and know-how. It will be organised in the form of a workshop so as to give each participant time to analyse its own strengths and needs and to gain understanding on possible pooling of available non-financial resources.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Education for All Global Monitoring Report Database

Extensive data on Education for All in some 180 countries is now available in a click with the new search tool on the Global Monitoring Report website.

This tool, developed by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in partnership with the EFA Global Monitoring Report team, is based on the data contained in the 2006 statistical annex tables. It enables you to search by table, theme, indicator, country and region, and to export results into an Excel format.

Getting a Job With UNESCO

International work is interesting and fulfilling. Work in the U.N. system offers decent salaries and benefits and significant career opportunities. UNESCO provides virtually a unique opportunity for those interested in education, science, culture and communications to do useful and important work in an international setting.

Now is an especially good time for U.S. citizens to get jobs in UNESCO. During the long period that the United States was not a member of UNESCO, the number of U.S. citizens working in UNESCO decreased substantially. Now that the United States is back, that number should increase.

UNESCO was created in large part to increase the understanding among peoples in order to promote and maintain peace. The understanding between the people of the United States and those of other nations seems more important than ever. U.S. citizens on the staff of UNESCO can play a key role in promoting involvement of their fellow citizens in UNESCO activities, and thus to facilitating constructive dialog between the United States and other nations.

Moreover, the United States is especially strong in many of the skills needed by UNESCO, and people from the United States are likely to be more effective than others in helping UNESCO tap the resources of the United States for its programs and activities. Not incidentally, U.S. citizens can also help make the benefits of UNESCO available to us at home.


UNESCO's working languages in its headquarters are French and English, and its staff in the field is often required to speak other languages. Thus language skills are important for anyone thinking of a job in UNESCO. International experience is also a definite plus.

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and employs people for its programs in education, the natural sciences, the social sciences, culture, and communications as well as the variety of professions needed to run a big, international organization (e.g. accounting, personnel, management, information technology management). The sectoral jobs tend to go to experienced professionals, both due to their content and to the competition for good positions in international organizations.

UNESCO jobs tend to require administrative and/or policy experience. Thus, while a teaching background is a definite plus for someone seeking a job in UNESCO's education sector, it is not the only qualification; experience in educational administration and educational policy are probably more relevant to most of UNESCO's work in the education sector.

The State Department is especially interested in helping highly qualified U.S. citizens to find policy making jobs in UNESCO. Those interested who feel themselves qualified for a senior position in UNESCO would be well advised to contact the U.S. Mission to UNESCO in Paris, or the U.S. National Commission. Their advice would be invaluable, and their support in obtaining such a position in UNESCO essential.

There are, however, entry level jobs at UNESCO, including fellowships. There is even a Fulbright Fellowship for U.S. citizens to help people with recent graduate degrees to work in UNESCO.

Some useful links.

UNESCO has an Employment Services Website.

The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO posts notices of fellowship and other employment opportunities on its website. It also provides timely information on UNESCO vacancies in its "updates" newsletter.

The U.S. Mission's website also provides employment information.

There is a very helpful document provided by the State Department for those interested in "Employment Opportunities With the United Nations and Other International Organizations". It is part of State's website on "Employment Information: U.N. and International Organizations".

Click here for more on jobs in multilateral development agencies.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Mobile Learning for Expanding Educational Opportunities

A new publication examines the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) to expand educational opportunities and accelerate national socio-economic development in the Asia and Pacific Region. It looks closely at how devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), laptops, Pocket PCs, and mobile phones can be utilized as mobile learning (m-learning) tools to provide interactive content in previously unreachable and remote locations.

Many nations have developed e-learning and m-learning strategies, and are rapidly expanding the use and knowledge of ICT in educational activities by incorporating ICT into lesson plans, teaching methodologies and curricula, and devoting funds to procuring ICT-related resources. However, successful implementation of e-learning and m-learning programmes involves careful planning, and also faces an array of challenges.

This publication draws from the International Workshop on Mobile Learning for Expanding Educational Opportunities, which took place on 16-20 May 2005 in Tokyo, Japan.

UNESCO and the World Summit on the Information Society

Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, gave this talk to the governmental Permanent Representatives and Observers to UNESCO on UNESCO's role in the WSIS and the effect of WSIS on UNESCO.


"We proceeded to elaborate a strategy of engagement with the Summit that reflected a different approach, one that gave proper weight to the social dimension, ethical considerations and the claims of cultural and linguistic diversity. In a nutshell, our strategy focused not on connectivity but on content.

"In order to have an impact and influence on the Summit, we realized that we had to work out a coherent, well-developed position and to apply it consistently in different fora and processes. And this is precisely what we did through our elaboration of the concept of “knowledge societies”, featuring four key principles: freedom of expression; universal access to information and knowledge; respect for cultural and linguistic diversity; and quality education for all. By bringing these principles and concerns regularly into the frame of discussion and debate, UNESCO helped to show that the “digital divide” is not merely technological in character.

"The most tangible outcomes of the WSIS process are the four documents adopted in Geneva and in Tunis, including principles, action areas and instructions on implementation mechanisms. These are the Geneva Declaration of Principles, the Geneva Plan of Action, the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

"They all reflect, in varying degrees, UNESCO’s contribution to the WSIS process. Before examining that contribution in further detail, I would like to highlight three important outcomes of the Summit of a general nature.

"First, the Summit has helped to generate a high-level dialogue on such matters as Internet governance which simply had not been taking place before. Such dialogue is vital as new phases of the digital revolution unfold and as its impact becomes increasingly global in character.

"Second, the Summit has been a catalyst for partnership between a wide range of stakeholders. It served to bring together different constituencies of interest and provided opportunities for cooperation and exchange. The development of multistakeholder partnerships, I believe, will be one of the lasting benefits of the Summit.

"Third, WSIS has helped to show that ICT is not merely a tool or instrument that belongs to “technology” rather than “society” but is, in fact, deeply embedded in social processes, in knowledge, in culture, in science and in education. The new ICTs have fast become as integral to our lives as the old technologies of print, radio, TV and cinema. By helping us to create new knowledge and to live different kinds of lives, ICT clearly is not separate from us. The growing development of this integrated, holistic understanding is an important outcome of the Summit."
for each of the eleven Actions Lines that were adopted in the Geneva Plan of Action, one or several UN organizations or programmes will act as facilitators or moderators. UNESCO, alone or with other agencies, was assigned the role of a moderator or facilitator for the following seven Action Lines:
• Access to information and knowledge
• E-learning
• E-science
• Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
• Media
• Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
• International and regional cooperation

The role of facilitators/moderators should include, inter alia, information exchange, creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices, and assistance in developing multi-stakeholder and public/private partnerships.

"UNESCO will also be participating in other parts of the international post-WSIS coordination machinery.

"One of the issues that the international community will continue to address is Internet Governance, which remains a core concern for UNESCO. Therefore, UNESCO will participate as an observer in the work of the Internet Governance Forum and will continue to advocate an open, transparent and inclusive approach to Internet Governance echoing its consistent advocacy of the principle of openness, which encompasses the free flow of information, freedom of expression and technical interoperability. The main areas of relevance to UNESCO are the concern for ethical
dimensions, the realization of multilingualism in the Internet development environment and capacity-building.

"With regard to the Task Force on Financial Mechanisms, led by UNDP, its report was integrated into the Tunis final document, which recognizes the importance of financial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide. The Task Force recommended the creation of a voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund and this was welcomed by the Summit as a complement to existing financing mechanisms which should continue to be fully utilized and improved.

"UNESCO will continue to participate in the work of the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development ensuring, for example, that the set of core ICT indicators that are presently being developed include those related to the application of ICT and their impact, in particular in the areas of education, science and culture. The role of UIS is clearly important in this regard."
In order for the Organization to maintain the momentum achieved over recent years, I have decided to prolong the mandate of the Task Force on the Information Society (TFIS) under my chairmanship. It will continue monitoring the implementation of the WSIS decisions as well as the recommendations put forward in the World Report "Towards Knowledge Societies".

I have requested the Communication and Information Sector to maintain a leading role in the coordination of WSIS activities within UNESCO, in close cooperation with BSP. The Sectors are asked to cooperate with CI as it carries out the coordination role.

I will see to it that each programme sector assumes the responsibility for Action Lines falling under its respective mandates. Those concerned in the central services, notably BPI and BSP, as well as the Institutes (notably UIS) and Field Offices, will also be involved in the post-WSIS phase.

UNESCO will actively participate in the implementation mechanisms on the international level. The CI Sector will ensure that UNESCO assumes a prominent role in this context, for example, in the work of the UN Group on the Information Society to be established within the CEB.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Study Abroad 2006-2007

Study Abroad 2006-2007 contains some 2,900 entries concerning post-secondary education and training in all academic and professional fields in countries throughout the world. Key features include information on:

- Study opportunities and financial assistance available to students wishing to study in a foreign country
- National systems of higher education
- Open and distance learning (ODL) opportunities
- Validation of foreign qualifications
- How to search for quality institutions of higher education including warnings about bogus institutions

UNESCO Reference Works series
22,00 €
Book, 688 pages, trilingual edition: French/English/Spanish, 33rd edition
Format: 27 x 19 cm

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Education

Go to the facet of the UNESCO Education Portal on cultural and linguistic diversity in education.

With a focus on promoting universally shared values and a culturally sensitive diversification of educational contents and methods, UNESCO is working to promote quality education as a fundamental right for all by addressing a broad range of themes, which include respect for cultural and linguistic diversity.

This facet of UNESCO's Education Portal provides a broad picture of approaches to education of children where multiple languages are spoken in the same community.

Note especially the position paper, "Education in a Multilingual World".

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

UNESCO at 60: Celebrating Secondary and Vocational Education

John Yoon, physics student at Ward Melville High School in Setauket, NY (USA) / © Stony Brook University

Go to the Education Portal home page for this spread on UNESCO's celebration of Secondary and Vocational Education.

In many countries, progress towards universal primary education is sharply increasing the demand for secondary education. This is creating unprecedented challenges of transition from primary to secondary levels of education for about one billion adolescents worldwide. UNESCO is helping countries by approach focuses on strategies for increasing the primary to secondary transition and improving the quality and relevance of secondary education.
* How many children in Africa reach secondary education? (PDF)

* Secondary Education at UNESCO

* Secondary and Vocational Education Brief from UNESCO's Bureau of Public Information (PDF)

* Technical and vocational education under scrutiny

* Vocational Education: The Come-back?

Education specialists tend to prescribe technical and vocational education and training as a recipe for jobs for young people. But experiences around the world tend to show that this is not always the case, reports Education Today.