UNESCO and MEXT Japan renew commitments to jointly foster education in Asia-Pacific towards 2030 Education Agenda
Officials from UNESCO Bangkok and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan met 16 March to review current projects and affirm continued collaboration.
16 March 2023, Bangkok — The Annual Review Meeting on Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) for the Promotion of Education in the Asia-Pacific Region took place online, 16 March 2023, connecting colleagues from UNESCO in Bangkok and Paris Headquarters with MEXT Japan in Tokyo.
The 2023 meeting featured a review of on-going or recently completed projects comprising:
Supporting the implementation of the SDG4-Education 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific (Phase III)
Supporting the implementation of the SDG4-Education 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific (Phase IV)
Empowering ECCE Teachers with a Transformative Vision of Education
UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet): collaborative action research on the role of schools in achieving SDGs in Asia-Pacific
Building an Inclusive Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres on Recognition
Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Bangkok, expressed his appreciation for Japan’s continued support of SDG 4 at the regional level and the Japanese Government’s invaluable role in mainstreaming SDG 4.7 into education systems, especially through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with the JFIT projects:
SDG 4.7: By 2030 ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
Mr Aoyagi noted Japan’s critical role as the main donor of the 2nd Asia Pacific Regional Education Minister’s Conference (APREMC-II), jointly organized by UNESCO and UNICEF and co-hosted by Thailand from 5 to 7 June 2022. Emerging from the Conference was the ‘Bangkok Statement 2022: towards an effective learning recovery for all and transforming education in Asia-Pacific', a landmark document for the region proposing on how education stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific can commit to recover from learning losses incurred during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘Bangkok Statement’ was adopted thanks to support provided by JFIT. Mr Aoyagi also reiterated UNESCO Bangkok’s responsibility for contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development System in Asia and the Pacific, and confirmed the agreement with UNESCO Headquarters to continue SDG-4 regional coordination in Asia and the Pacific.
Mr Shun Shirai, both the Director for International Strategic Planning of MEXT and Deputy Secretary‐General of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO expressed his appreciation for UNESCO Bangkok’s education initiatives in the region. Mr Shirai led the constructive discussion between MEXT and UNESCO, which also covered the main activities and expected outcomes of future plans under JFIT for Education in Asia-Pacific, such as the following:
Empowering learners through transformative education for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific
Preparing teachers who can innovate using digital technology
Building resilience through Socio-Emotional Learning: teacher capacity building for sustainable transformation of education systems
Integrating transversal competences in effective teaching and learning
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