UN’s World Education Forum starts in Incheon

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UN’s World Education Forum starts in Incheon

The World Education Forum 2015 is set to kick off on Tuesday in Incheon with up to 1,500 participants from education-related UN agencies, civil society organizations and 195 Unesco member states taking part.

Organized by Unesco and hosted by Korea’s Ministry of Education, this year’s event will run through Friday at Songdo Convensia in Incheon.

The six agencies involved include Unicef, the United Nations Development Program, UN Women, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Bank Group.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to present a welcoming speech at the opening ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a joint news conference with Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova.

Other key attendees at the international forum include Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women; and Anthony Lake, executive director of Unicef.

The organizer explained through its website that the goal of the forum will be “to assess the progress of the Dakar Framework for Action adopted in Dakar, Senegal in 2000 and the EFA initiative, and prepare a new post-2015 education agenda adopted and implemented by the international community for the next 15 years.”

The Dakar Framework for Action refers to a collective agreement reached by participants at the 2000 World Education Forum, which reaffirmed their commitment to meet the learning needs of “all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities.”

That end was to be met through the six goals of the Education for All (EFA) initiative, which includes increasing adult literacy by 50 percent; promoting learning and life skills for young people and adults; achieving gender parity by 2005 and gender equality by 2015; and providing free and compulsory primary education to all.

“Five key themes of the agendas for the World Education Forum 2015 are Right to Education, Equity, Inclusion, Quality Education, and Lifelong Learning,” the official website stated.

As for the host country, Korea is “well known in the world for its advanced usage of ICT for education and content development,” the website continued, adding that the Korean public and private sector will likely “propose the future model of high-tech education and enter the global platform through joint partnership” at the WEF 2015 exhibition.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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