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UNESCO school looks to foster ‘global citizens’

The Korean National Commission for UNESCO on Tuesday opened an education institute in Seoul to teach children about peace, human rights and understanding of different cultures.

The Korea UNESCO Global Citizenship School encompasses the organization’s 60-plus years of efforts on global citizenship education, a U.N. education initiative that aims to foster global citizens by instilling students with universal values including peace, human rights, diversity, gender equality and sustainable development, organizers said.

“The KUGCS will foster global citizens that act for a better future, shouldering the responsibility for the global community,” said Min Dong-seok, secretary-general of the commission.

“Through various experiences including playing games and meeting different people, the school will provide character education along with vocational training.”

The UNESCO Korea commission has been conducting various programs supporting global citizenship education, including visits to local high schools to provide lectures on the issue. This will be continued by the KUGCS, along with lectures by local organizations upholding similar purposes such as human rights groups.

“Debate programs will be held for middle school students, along with mock U.N. conferences for high school students. Through mostly discussions and activities, the students will be able to learn about the values pursued by UNESCO,” said an official from the UNESCO Korea commission.

The opening ceremony was participated by students and teachers of the KUGCS, officials from the UNESCO Korea commission, Education Ministry, Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding under and various nongovernmental organizations including World Vision at the UNESCO building in Myeong-dong, Seoul. 

By Yoon Min-sik (