literacy

Chinese Language Day

Language Days at the United Nations seek to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization. Under the initiative, UN duty stations around the world celebrate six separate days, each dedicated to one of the Organization’s six official languages.

Why April 20?

The date for the Chinese day was selected from Guyu (“Rain of Millet”), which is the 6th of 24 solar terms in the traditional East Asian calendars, to pay tribute to Cangjie. Cangjie is a very important figure in ancient China, claimed to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that he had four eyes and four pupils, and that when he invented the characters, the deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet. From then on, Chinese people celebrate the day Guyu in honour of Cangjie. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around April 20.

For more information about this UN observance, the five other official languages, and relevant events, please visit un.org/zh/observances/chinese-language-day/english.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory Symposium

This interdisciplinary symposium will convene humanists and social scientists, field-workers and policy-makers, artists and writers, to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters, and creators of language.

Language is a vital, but underexplored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. Distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.

The symposium will take place online between Monday, April 19 and Saturday May 1, 2021.

Special events: Our symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who will open our exchange with a lecture on Monday April 19; and ProfViet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer, who will close the proceedings with a lecture on Saturday, May 1. On Friday evening, April 30, we are delighted to host a reading by Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li and Aleksandar Hemon, three distinguished members of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty.

The symposium program can be found here.

Registration information can be found here. There will be one zoom link for the entire conference. (Panelists and chairs will also receive a special link for their sessions.)

Our primary sponsors are the Migration Lab of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Study Group for Language and the United Nations. We’d like to acknowledge additional support from the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Esperantic Studies Foundation, the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, and Birkbeck, University of London. At Princeton, generous support has also come from the Lewis Center, the Humanities Council, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, The Department of African-American Studies, and the University Center for Human Values.

Please direct questions to Sam Evans at same@princeton.edu

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is currently in the process of constituting an NGO Committee on Language and Languages and is calling for endorsement of the creation of this important committee. For information on this new committee, visit here. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Girls and Women: Leading the Charge to Ensure #LearningNeverStops

This virtual event will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity in learning and their safe return to school.

This event will take place on Zoom, with simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish. Register here to participate. The event will be livestreamed on the UNWebTV.

Background:

In April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries following nationwide closures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Today, a year into the crisis, over 800 million students are still out of school, students are on average losing two-thirds of an academic year and more than 20 million girls are projected to be at risk of dropping out.

This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education in recent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.

The priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) recognises the critical role girls and women play as leaders and decision-makers in all aspects of public life to achieve gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence, and empower women and girls. This virtual event, held on the sidelines of CSW, will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue, and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity of learning during school closures and return to school.

On March 24, leaders will aim to speak on behalf of the millions of at-risk girls whose voices are going unheard. They will highlight the essential need to build back equal through gender-transformative education systems that end harmful gender norms, free girls and boys from narrow aspirations and enable them to work together in the classroom today for a more equal world tomorrow.

This CSW65 event is hosted by UNESCO, PLAN International, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Argentine Republic to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org

Youth-led Action Research (YAR) on the Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalised Youth in 9 Countries in the Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific region is home to more than 700 million young people. About 85 million come from marginalized backgrounds, living in extreme poverty, having little to no access to education, employment, health care, and social protection, and facing barriers to meaningful opportunities to engage in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Disconnected from their peers and pushed to the margins, youth took a serious hit due to the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to face significant disruptions and changes on multiple fronts- at home, in their community, and in the economy. They will continue to feel the weight of this crisis for a long time.

The Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) recognizes the immense value of youth as equal partners in promoting transformative youth and adult work and strong lifelong learning systems and creating a better world. ASPBAE is well-positioned to serve as a source of support for youth and as a platform through which their voices and needs can be conveyed and amplified, even and especially during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Strengthening the voice and agency of youth in education policies and processes has been a priority of ASPBAE and is a huge part of its work and advocacies.

It is against this backdrop that ASPBAE invites you to its virtual side event:

Youth-led Action Research (YAR) on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Marginalised Youth in 9 Countries in the Asia Pacific

Register here!

This side event will bring together youth and youth organizations, national and local governments officials, international organizations, civil society organizations, parents’ and teachers’ associations to deepen understanding of the new and challenging realities that marginalized youth are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the different aspects of their lives. The event specifically aims to:

✱ Share stories and recommendations of marginalized youth on how to place education, decent work, and social protection at the centre of the agenda towards recovery and resilience

✱ Discuss measures that governments, decision-makers, and other relevant stakeholders can take to finance and prioritize the recommendations of youth

✱ Appraise the VNRs of 12 countries in the region through an adult learning and education (ALE) lens looking into the integration of youth and adult learning and education in the implementation of the SDGs

✱ Discuss the financing of education based on the recommendations from the youth-led action research

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org.

International Day of Education: Recover & Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 generation

International Day of Education: Recover and revitalize education for the COVID-19 generation 

Monday 25 January 2021, 8am – 11am EST

Website: en.unesco.org/commemorations/educationday

RSVP link: on.unesco.org/IDEzoom

Watch online at webtv.un.org/ and use hashtags #PowerEducation #EducationDay

This third International Education Day occurs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a global learning disruption of unprecedented scale and severity. The closure of schools, universities and other learning institutions, as well as the interruption of many literacy and lifelong learning programmes, has affected the lives of 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries. As a new year begins, now is the time to step up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the centre of the recovery and the transformation towards more inclusive, safe and sustainable societies.

This event will highlight the urgency to mobilize funding for education; give voice to ‘community heroes’ who acted to leave no learner behind during school closures and present innovations that pave the way towards more resilient and inclusive education systems. The celebration of International Education Day by UNESCO will be organized in partnership with several partners, including the Global Partnership for Education and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies (CRI), and feature the participation of partners from the Global Education Coalition.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org.

CoNGO president, three other NGO leaders, join in a statement on the International Day of Education 2021

News in French. News in Spanish.

New York City, 24 January 2021 (CoNGO InfoNews) — Education is a human right. Inclusion and equity are crucial for transformative education. Education as common public good requires public funding. Education at primary and secondary levels is universal and adult education primordial. Online education has blessings and perils. Safety and wellbeing is crucial at education venues. Education must be portable across borders. Global citizenship education is critical to multilateral collaboration. Educate to increase hope and decrease fear.

These are the thematic headings of a 26-point statement issued on the occasion of the International Day of Education 2021 by Liberato C. Bautista, president of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), and joined by Maria Helen Dabu, secretary general of the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), Franklin Shaffer, president and chief executive officer of CGFNS International, and Montse Rafel, director general of Dianova International.

The statement reaffirmed education as a human right, a public good and a public responsibility, and must be publicly funded.

The leaders recognized the blessings and perils of online education, naming the digital divide  exacerbated by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same vein, they recognized the importance of education especially for health and allied professions and their portability across borders, given the high demand but shortage of health workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Education must foster civic engagement, democratic participation and social innovation, ” the statement said. “Now is the time to develop global civic consciousness and innovate on a global civics education that fosters global citizenship and multilateral collaboration. Each of our countries, our people and the planet will be better for it.”

The leaders spoke of basic and adult education in a time of intersecting pandemics. They called for “education to increase hope and decrease fear.”

“Education must expose fear brought about by threats to and violations against the dignity and human rights of persons, such as those generated by increasing racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that alienate and divide people and communities from one another. These, on top of fears and anxieties resulting from intersecting crises of pandemic proportions—health crisis, racial crisis, climate crisis, migration crisis, economic crisis, violence, and more.”

The statement closed with an urgent call for “advocacy and partnerships for education among civil society organizations, and among NGOs, the UN System, and States.”

Read the full statement here.

See related story.

[UN Observance] International Day of Education

Every year on January 24, the United Nations commemorates International Day of Education. To stay apprised of this year’s events and how to participate, check out https://www.un.org/en/observances/education-day.

View UNESCO’s video explaining the 10 targets of SDG #4: Quality Education for All here:

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit  facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

[UN Observance] World Braille Day

Every year on January 4, the United Nations commemorates World Braille Day.  To learn more and stay apprised of this year’s events, visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/braille-day. To learn more about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the importance of eradicating ableism, click here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit  facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org and/or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child, please email the co-chair at marjones@nyc.rr.com.

[UN Observance] Arabic Language Day

Annually on December 18, the United Nations commemorates Arabic Language Day. To learn about why we mark this observance, and how to participate in 2020’s events, check un.org/ar/events/arabiclanguageday/index.shtml.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

[regional launch] Education for Sustainable Development for 2030 Roadmap: Africa

UNESCO has published Education for Sustainable Development: A roadmap which provides guidance for Member States and other stakeholders for the implementation of the new global framework ‘Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs’ (ESD for 2030). Learn more here.

UNESCO is organizing regional online launch events of the ESD for 2030 Roadmap to discuss implementation at the local level. Register for your local session:

Asia and the Pacific: Thursday 19 November 8:00 – 9:15 UTC+1 
Latin America and the Caribbean: Friday 20 November 15:00 – 16:15 UTC+1 
Arab region: Tuesday 24 November 15:00 – 16:15 UTC+1 
Africa: Thursday 26 November 12:30 – 14:00 UTC+1 (Paris time) register here
Europe and North America: Tuesday 1 December 15:00 – 16:15 UTC+1 (Paris time) register here

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

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