Two Vietnamese representatives join UNESCO network of learning cities

Sa Dec in the Mekong Delta and Vinh in central Vietnam have been included in UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).
September 24, 2020 | 10:59
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The two cities have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities, Vietnamnet reported.

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), as coordinator of the network, admitted the new members following their nomination by the National Commissions for UNESCO in the countries.

A strong commitment to lifelong learning by the city administration is key to becoming a learning city.

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Class time at a primary school in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam, 2019. Photo: Quynh Tran/ VnExpress

As part of their application process, potential UNESCO GNLC members must demonstrate a clear vision for providing lifelong learning opportunities for everyone in the community. Once admitted, cities are expected to take part in the activities of the network and to produce a biennial report outlining their achievements as learning cities.

Within the framework of the strategy for 2019–2021, the activities of the network focus on seven key priorities: education for sustainable development; equity and inclusion; educational planning, monitoring, and evaluation; education for global citizenship; entrepreneurship; learning for health and well-being; and literacy.

The new member cities will be presented in an online event on Wednesday.

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A classroom in Vinh City, Nghe An Province. Photo: Vietnamnet

UIL Director David Atchoarena said that the COVID-19 pandemic had underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future.

“With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the center of this undertaking,” he said.

“During the pandemic, UNESCO learning cities from around the world have shown that they are well placed to make lifelong learning a reality, also under harsh conditions,’ Atchoarena added.

Vo Thanh Tung, chairman of Sa Dec City People’s Committee, said Sa Dec becoming a learning city was an urgent requirement, helping the city soon access knowledge economies.

He said the city was envisioned to become a prosperous and sustainable city based on knowledge and learning to create more jobs, increase income, and improve the lives of local people.

Tran Ngoc Tu, Chairman of People’s Committee of Vinh City said that the city is part of Nghe An Province, a land with a long tradition of fondness for learning.

The city's educational network meets the diversified learning and development needs of its inhabitants, he said.

The UNESCO GNLC is an international policy-oriented network geared towards knowledge production and sharing, peer learning, and capacity-building, VNExpress reported.

Inclusion of the new cities to GNLC, including those from Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Finland, South Korea, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal, brings the total number of members to 230 in 64 countries and territories.

Members benefit from sharing lifelong learning policies and practices with other cities in the network, developing and exchanging knowledge on key challenges and solutions, taking part in training initiatives, and participation in regional and global events.

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