The concept “Education transforms lives” is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development.
UNESCO believes that education is a human right for all throughout life and that access must be matched by quality. The Organization is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to cover all aspects of education. It has been entrusted to lead the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal 4. The roadmap to achieve this is the Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA).
The 2030 Education Agenda is based on the fact that education can achieve development by transforming life. Achieving this requires changing the nature of education itself to be of good quality, inclusive and accessible to all.
To achieve the 2030 Education Agenda, it is necessary to cope with the continuous changes. The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94 per cent of the world’s student population, up to 99 per cent in low and lower-middle-income countries.
On the other hand, this crisis has stimulated innovation within the education sector. We have seen innovative approaches in support of education and training continuity: from radio and television to take-home packages. Distance learning solutions were developed, and technology was unitized. Preventing a learning crisis from becoming a generational catastrophe requires urgent collaborative action from all.
Being the sole agency in UN systems entrusted with a mission covering all aspects of education, UNESCO work encompasses educational development from pre-school to higher education, including technical and vocational education and training, non-formal education, and literacy.
UNESCO, with its partners, is guided by the Education 2030 Framework for Action to implement SDG 4. The organization also recognizes that governments bear the main responsibility for successful implementation, follow-up and review, and that action by countries can drive change with the support of multiple partnerships agencies, as well as providing financing.
UNESCO has designated 94 International, Regional Institutes, and Centres as Category II under the auspices of UNESCO. Though not legally part of the organization, these institutes and centres are associated with UNESCO through formal arrangements approved by the Bi-Annual General Conference. They are selected upon proposal by Member State(s), based on the strength of their specialization in one of UNESCO’s fields of competence. Through capacity-building, knowledge sharing, and research, they provide a valuable and unique contribution to the implementation of UNESCO’s strategic program objectives for the benefit of all Member States.
All Category II Centers in Education contribute to one or more of the Sector’s priority areas of lifelong learning, teachers, literacy, TVET, and sector-wide planning. Category II Centers also provide opportunities to showcase and share the capacity, technical expertise, and knowledge of Member-States. They can facilitate regional networking and have the potential to act as resource hubs in specific education fields.
Building on the results of the last meeting of Category II Centers held in 2018 and organized by the Ministry of Education in Egypt, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States in Beirut and the UNESCO regional office in Cairo, the upcoming Category II meeting will serve as a timely occasion to discuss programs, projects, and activities of UNESCO Category II Centers for Education. Gathering representatives from UNESCO Category I & II Centers, the meeting will likewise provide an opportunity for participants to update each other of their respective work plans, meet new members, and strengthen existing ties. Category II Centers are recognized as an important extension of UNESCO’s programs delivery arm and aim to raise UNESCO’s profile in the Member States.
- Enhance cooperation and partnership between Category II Centers concerned with education.
- Provide updates on recent projects and activities of Category II centers.
- Identify opportunities for collaborative projects between Category II centers, UNESCO Regional Bureaus and Category I Institutes;
- Discuss ways of improving the effectiveness of the role of Category II Centers in the Members States and in UNESCO HQ.
Identify approaches for Enhancing the impact and visibility of Category II centers.
- Explore the potential contribution of Category II Centers to the achievements of UNESCO main objectives.
- Inform Category II Centers about updates and decisions taken by the UNESCO Executive Board regarding the evaluation of Internal Oversight Services, the evaluation of the performance of centers and the review of the Integrated Overall Strategy on Category II Centers.
- Assist Category II Centers to develop their programs and priorities in accordance with the goals and budget of the UNESCO Strategy plan.
- Role of Category II Centers in UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy for 2022-2029;
- Presentation of the activities of Category II Centers;
- Roundtable / discussion session on:
- Identifying cooperation opportunities between Category II Centers and propose joint activities.
- Defining ways to improve Category II Centers work and communications with UNESCO Regional Bureaus and UNESCO HQ.
- Identifying the possible methods to evaluate the activities of Category II Centers and how to highlight their efforts in the media.
The 6th meeting will be attended virtually (via ZOOM) by several managers and staff of UNESCO Centers, institutes and offices. It will be held virtually for one day in a form of dialogue sessions in addition to a roundtable discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to communicate and share best practices.
The working language of the workshop will be Arabic and English.
UNESCO Category I Institutes
- The International Bureau of Education (IBE) (Geneva Switzerland): works to enhance curriculum development and reform.
- The International Institute for Education Planning (IIEP) (Paris, France, Buenos Aires – Argentina and Dakar – Senegal): helps countries design, plan and manage their education systems.
- The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) (Hamburg, Germany): promotes lifelong learning policy and practice, with a focus on adult education literacy and non-formal education.
- The Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) (Moscow, Russian Federation): assists countries in the use of information and communication technologies in education.
- The International Institute for Higher Education in Latin American and the Caribbean (IESALC) (Caracas, Venezuela): promotes the development of higher education in the region.
- The European Centre for Higher Education
- The International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): helps strengthen Africa’s educational institutions with a focus on teachers.
- The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) (New Delhi, India): specializes in research, knowledge-sharing and policy formulation for peace, sustainability and global citizenship.
- UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training – UNEVOC, (Bonn, Germany): Assists Member States in developing their policies and practices related to education in the world of work and skills development in order to improve employability, citizenship and access into the world of work.
- The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) (Montreal, Canada): as the official statistical agency of UNESCO, the UIS produces a wide range of indicators in UNESCO’s fields of action by working with national statistical offices, line ministries and other statistical organizations.
Category II Centers
- Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), South Korea.
- International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (CIEFFA), Burkina Faso.
- International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI), China.
- International Mother Language Institute (IMLI), Bangladesh.
- International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED), China.
- Regional Centre for Adult Education (ASFEC), Egypt.
- Regional Centre for Early Childhood Care and Education in the Arab States (RCECCE), Syria.
- Regional Centre for Educational Planning (RCEP), UAE.
- South Asian Centre for Teacher Development (SACTD), China.
- The Regional Centre for Information and Communication Technology (RCICT), Bahrain.
- The Regional Center for Childhood and Motherhood, Kuwait.
- Guidance, Counselling and Youth Development Centre for Africa (GCYDCA), Malawi.
- South Asian Centre for Teacher Development (SACTD), Sri Lankan.
- Southeast Asian Center for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEACLLSD), Philippines.
- Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA), Ghana.
- UNESCO Southeast Asia Centre of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA CLLSD), China.
- Institute of Early Childhood Development – Seychelles
- Teacher Education Centre – Shanghai, Chania .
- International Centre for the UNESCO ASPNET (ICUA)
- UNESCO Associated Schools Network – ASPnet – A network of over 11,500 ASPnet member schools in 182 countries.
- UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs – UNESCO’s network of over 830 higher education and research institutions in 110 countries.
- The UNEVOC network on TVET, hosted by the UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training Network (UNESCO-UNEVOC).
- Community of Practice in Curriculum Development (COP) – IBE.
UNESCO Regional Offices in the Arab world
- Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States – Beirut.
- Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States – Cluster Office for Egypt and Sudan.
- UNESCO Office in Doha.
- UNESCO Office in Rabat.
- UNESCO Office in Khartoum.
- UNESCO Office in Iraq.
- UNESCP Office in Amman – the regional office for Education, Science and Communications in Amman, Jordan.