The 5th Meeting of UNESCO Category 2 Centres in Education co-organized by the Arab States Fundamental Education Centre (ASFEC), Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education, UNESCO Beirut Office and UNESCO Cairo Office was held from 20-22 February 2018 at Al Masah Hotel, Cairo, Egypt. Following the last meeting in Manila in 2015, this meeting served as an opportunity for the centres to share their programmes and plans, explore areas of possible collaboration, and increase the visibility of the centres’ active contribution to the realization of UNESCO’s objectives. Nine out of the eleven centres were represented during the meeting as follows:
Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), Seoul, Republic of Korea
International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI), Shenzhen, China
International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED), Beijing, China
Regional Centre for Adult Education (ASFEC), Sirs El-Layyan, Menoufia, Egypt
Regional Centre for Early Childhood Care and Education in the Arab States (RCECCE), Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic
Regional Centre for Educational Planning (RCEP), Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Regional Centre for Quality and Excellence in Education (RCQE), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
South Asian Centre for Teacher Development (SACTD), Meepe, Sri Lanka
South East Asia Centre of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA CLLSD), Manila, Philippines
From the last meeting in 2015, two new centres were included in the network of centres, including: the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI) based in Shenzhen, China and the International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) based in the Dhaka, Bangladesh. This growing number of centres provide more opportunities for partnership among the specialized centres in education under the auspices of UNESCO.
Representatives from UNESCO Headquarters, UNESCO Beirut Office, UNESCO Cairo Office and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, a UNESCO Category 1 Institute in Education participated in the said meeting, along with representatives from the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education and related organizations. As the first global meeting of the centres after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the contribution of the centres to the SDGs, particularly for SDG4 (Quality Education) was the focal point of discussion.
At the opening of the meeting, Mr Ghaith Faris, Director of UNESCO Cairo, highlighted the importance of the UNESCO Category 2 Centres in achieving the global goals, as an important extension arm of UNESCO in the field for the implementation its core programmes and objectives. Mr Utak Chung, Director of APCEIU, shared the continuous effort of APCEIU since 2015 to engage with, increase capacities of and provide tools and necessary resources to relevant stakeholders to contribute to SDG4, particularly to Target 4.7 focusing on Global Citizenship Education.