On World Teachers’ Day, celebrated each year on October 5, we organized at our headquarters a workshop presenting UNESCO non-formal projects and activities in the field of education, coordinated by Cristina Butescu, expert NCR UNESCO. Professors and pupils from pre-university education in Bucharest and the country participated: „Octav Onicescu” National College Bucharest, „Nicolae Tonitza” High School of Fine Arts Bucharest, „Al.I.Cuza” National College Ploiești, „N.Romanescu” School Craiova, Central School of Bucharest, Special School no.4 Bucharest, „Petre Ispirescu” School Bucharest, „N.Titulescu” School Ploiești.
Under the slogan „Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”, World Teachers’ Day 2017 aims to highlight teachers’ contribution to educating and developing future responsible citizens, as well as the importance of teacher autonomy and academic freedom in building a world where education and learning are truly universal.
Launched in 1953 to promote UNESCO’s peace and tolerance ideals, the UNESCO-Associated Schools Network project (ASP-net) is a global network of educational institutions from over 180 countries, from preschool education to high schools, post-high school and teacher training centers. Today, ASP-net programs have diversified, encompassing both curricular and non-formal activities.
Regional intercultural projects are among the leading initiatives of ASP-net, including the World Heritage Education Programme. Launched as a special project by UNESCO in 1994, this program seeks to encourage tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation. Young people learn about World Heritage sites, their history and traditions and of other cultures, ecology, the importance of protecting biodiversity. Most importantly, they discover how they can contribute to the preservation of heritage and how they can be heard.
Coordinated by the UNESCO World Heritage Center (WHC), in cooperation with ASPnet, UNESCO Regional Offices, National Commissions for UNESCO and other institutional partners, the programme has as main tool the World Education in Young Hands Kit, developed by UNESCO World Heritage Center in 1998.
Another part of the program is Patrimonito’s World Heritage Adventures, a series of animations where the Patrimonito mascot (created in 1995 by a group of Spanish students and illustrating a young guardian) presents sites from various countries, such as Cuba, Norway, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Russia, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Australia, Spain, Peru, Lebanon, Korea, China, India.
We also enjoyed the presence of the EuroCuza 2017 high school team, from the „Al.I.Cuza” National College in Ploiești, which within the EUROSCOLA competition – organized by the European Parliament Information Office in Romania in partnership with the Ministry of Education – proposed the identification of heritage objectives, the promotion of the museum concept and informing the local community about their value. This year’s theme of the EUROSCOLA contest is „The role of the Romanian heritage in consolidating the European identity”.
In a practical application, the workshop participants – pupils and teachers – teamed together and identified a site from their city that they would propose for the UNESCO World Heritage List.