Osan City, led by Mayor Kwak Sang-wook, announced on Oct. 27 that it had been awarded the ‘2021 UNESCO Learning Cities Award’ at the 5th UNESCO Learning City International Conference held in Yeonsu-gu, Incheon.
The UNESCO Learning Cities Award hosted by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) was awarded to 10 cities, including Osan, among 229 cities in 64 countries that joined the 'UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC)'.
Other prize-winning cities include Wyndham (Australia), Al Wakrah (Qatar), Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK), Clermont-Ferrand (France), Damietta (Egypt), Dublin (Ireland), Hujochingo (Mexico), Jubayl (Saudi Arabia), Shanghai (China), etc.
This award is awarded once every two years to a city that has demonstrated outstanding performance in operating a learning city.
It is the fourth award in Korea after Namyangju City in 2015, Suwon City in 2017, and Seodaemun-gu, Seoul in 2019. This year, Osan City was the only one in Korea to receive the award.
Prior to the award ceremony, Director David Atchoarena of the UIL, said, “I would like to congratulate the UNESCO Learning City of Osan for outstanding progress in providing lifelong learning opportunities to its citizens.
“In a rapidly changing world, it is very important to give all citizens the opportunity to continuously develop themselves and contribute to solving local and global problems. And these attempts are the core of lifelong learning.”
Mayor Kwak Sang-wook of Osan City said, “I am delighted that the education in Osan over the past 10 years has been recognized worldwide, and I give this honor to the citizens and officials who have been with me.
“Osan is a dynamic learning city where citizens lead citizens to learn. We will not stop our journey as a learning city that grows together with citizens in the future.”
Osan City shares vision for future learning at the int’l conference
Osan City to 30, with the title 'Learning for Health: A New Paradigm in the Post-Corona Era'. Under the theme, participnts shared the vision of a learning city in Osan.
The international conference held every two years at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is a conference where education officials and experts from around the world gather to share best practices by city and discuss global lifelong learning issues.
Under the theme of 'Building a healthy and resilient city through learning, this conference focused on health, an issue for people around the world.
Mayor Kwak Sang-wook of Osan City said, “The new paradigms of Osan to cope with the 4th industrial era and post-Corona situation are the establishment of a smart education city specialized in AI, village and citizens' power, village community, and green learning city .
“These are the core value of Osan's future education, which is self-governing education, joint education, future education, and responsible education, and the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goal.”
He added, “In the future, we will continue to make efforts to build Osan as an educational city where everyone is happy, where no one is alienated.”
Nat’l Lifelong Learning Cities Council holds a forum with UNESCO and ambassadors in Korea
The National Lifelong Learning Cities Council, led by Mayor Kwak Sang-wook of Osan City, also chairman of the council, held the National Lifelong Learning Cities Leaders’ Summit Forum in Yeonsu-gu, Songdo, Incheon as a special session with foreign ambassadors to Korea and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) on Oct. 28.
In this summit forum, a total of 40 people including 14 ambassadors from each country, including the French ambassador to Korea, and the heads of lifelong learning cities across the country, participated. Through the forum they considered the “seven essential things for future education” by UNESCO.
Ambassador Philippe Lefort of France in Seoul, who was the speaker in the keynote speech 1, looked back on the philosophy of UNESCO, which started in France, and the future education direction of lifelong education and learning cities.
In the keynote speech 2, Chairman Koh Young-lim of Jeju International Cultural Exchange Association, considered the essence of future education in the past and present through a lecture on the subject of “Seven Principles of Future Education According to UNESCO in the Millennium Era.”
Chairman David Atchoarena of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), as the designated debater, held an opening talk show with Secretary General Han Kyung-koo of the Korean Committee for UNESCO, focusing on the future education direction of the learning cities and the contents of the 'Future Report of Education' to be published by UNESCO.
Kwak Sang-wook of Osan City, also chairman of the National Lifelong Learning Cities Council, said, “We expect that the meeting will continue to discuss the learning city, future education, and UNESCO’s agenda by preparing a plan for regularization of urban diplomacy through learning with ambassadors of each country in Korea.”.