Monday, June 16, 2008

Nicolas Burnett on UNESCO's Educational Challenge

Nicholas Burnett, the Assistant Director General of UNESCO in charge of its Education programs made a very interesting and useful speech recently, titled What Sort of UNESCO for What Sort of Education? He recognized:

‘We are the first generation that knows tor sure that we do not know the future.‘ What we do know for sure now is that we have to deal with climate change, and that we are currently in the age of the knowledge economy and knowledge society. But we do not know what new problems we might face in a couple of decades or what technologies we might have available.
He then focused on the huge educational challenges faced by the world in granting the right to a lifetime of adequate learning opportunities for all. He recognized that UNESCO had great advantages in leading a global effort in the new century to fulfill this right, but that its success in its educational efforts in the past have been mixed. He then provides a broad charter for improvement of UNESCO, suggesting that there should be support for a more focused effort on the part of the organization to more fully achieve the leadership its charter requires.

The presentation shows how fortunate UNESCO has been to recruit Burnett first for the Education for All Report and now to lead its education program.

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