A look back at the new Moroccan memberships in the UNESCO global network of learning cities


The recent membership of Agadir, Fez and Essaouira in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) establishes Morocco’s “firm commitment”, in accordance with the vision of King Mohammed VI, in favor of education, lifelong learning and sustainable development, said Morocco’s permanent delegate ambassador to UNESCO, Samir Addahre.

This membership “also strengthens the Kingdom’s position as a key player in the field of education at the international and regional level,” added Mr. Addahre.

For Morocco, he explained, seeing more and more cities joining this global network not only reflects international recognition of the Kingdom’s commitment to education from early childhood to the elderly, in accordance with the Royal High Vision, while taking into account the diversity of learners, including in disadvantaged environments, but also presents countless opportunities, particularly through the sharing of experiences, ideas and good practices in education , which contribute to the improvement of national and local educational policies.

This contributes to capacity building for Moroccan educational actors, particularly in terms of professional development of teachers, design of innovative educational programs and integration of information and communication technologies in education, without forgetting the opportunities resource mobilization and potential collaboration with other cities and international partners in the field of education, noted the ambassador.

Learning cities, he recalled, are intended to help implement public policies and educational actions aimed, ultimately, at promoting individual empowerment and social inclusion, economic development. and cultural prosperity as well as sustainable development of societies, by working for the inclusion of different categories, including people with disabilities, migrants, the elderly and other populations in difficulty.

Mr. Addahre underlined that the committee of international experts responsible for evaluating the application files of learning cities was able to rightly appreciate the efforts and progress made by the Moroccan member cities and the commitment of the municipal authorities. of these cities in the implementation of the strategic vision of the Kingdom.

This Moroccan mobilization, he added, was expressed in appropriate actions and programs including the creation of learning centers for young people and women in difficulty whose mission is to support their professional integration, apprenticeship aimed at the autonomy of the elderly, in addition to family literacy, or even inclusion for the benefit of sub-Saharan migrants and their children.

Evoking the example of Benguerir, which joined the GNLC in 2020, Morocco’s permanent delegate ambassador to UNESCO noted that the city has equipped itself with adequate infrastructure intended to promote education and training in different levels and taken other initiatives for academic support, guidance, counseling, training and promotion of culture, using distance learning techniques.

In addition to the actions planned on a national scale and the sectoral planning carried out by the supervisory department and the competent establishments and institutions, continued Mr. Addahre, “Morocco is fully part of the global action on a global scale jointly to the international community and relevant institutions, with a view to achieving the SDGs including SDG4 Education 2030, to “ensure equitable and quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

In this regard, he indicated that the organization in Morocco of the 7th International Conference on Adult Education, in 2022, was sanctioned by the adoption of the Marrakech Framework for Action as a basis for work for next 12 years, in order to realize the vision of the right to lifelong learning including the project to create the African Institute for Lifelong Education and Training.

The ambassador recalled that, with the aim of giving effect to the Kingdom’s positive commitment to initiatives led by UNESCO, Morocco has just launched “an Alliance of National Commissions and Learning Cities in Africa”, in as a “cooperation platform”, falling within the framework of the implementation of the High Royal Guidelines, aiming in particular to consolidate the African network by supporting the accession of more African cities to the GNLC.

In this wake, Mr. Addahre launched an appeal to further encourage the mobilization of all stakeholders in this area including the various educational, training and cultural institutions, Universities such as the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University of Fez as a UNESCO Chair for Lifelong Learning, but also representatives of the different public and private sectors, NGOs and other proactive actors of civil society to coordinate their efforts, jointly with the responsible department, at the Commission National Agency for Education, Sciences and Culture, and the National Agency for the Fight against Illiteracy in terms of lifelong learning, “with a view to creating an effective synergy capable of facilitating and supporting the change we want for our country, like the pioneers of the global educational community.”

On Wednesday, the cities of Agadir, Fez and Essaouira joined the GNLC, in recognition of their efforts to make lifelong learning a reality for all at the local level. These three new memberships have joined the cities of Marrakech, Ifrane, Chefchaouen and Benguerir within this network.

The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) is an international network focused on promoting lifelong learning through the sharing of initiatives, policies, know-how and good practices for inclusive learning of populations at all ages. This network now brings together 356 cities in 79 countries.

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