Three Thai cities have joined the Unesco Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC), along with 52 other cities from 27 countries that will also become lifelong learning cities.
Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket have been recognised as outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality by proving that effective policies can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.
The new members bring the total number of cities within the Unesco GNLC to 230 in 64 countries.
The Unesco Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), which is the network’s coordinator, admitted the new members after hearing of the strong commitment to lifelong learning by their mayors and city administrations, a key prerequisite for becoming a “learning city”. Would-be Unesco GNLC members had to demonstrate a clear vision for providing lifelong learning opportunities for everyone in the community.
Member cities, who will be presented in an online event today, are expected to take part in network activities and produce a biennial report outlining their achievements.
David Atchoarena, Director, the Unesco Institute for Lifelong Learning said he hoped that the three cities would celebrate their admission with their new colleague cities and their citizens. It is hoped they will exchange good practices in a structured way and work together on some projects.
“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future,” Mr Atchoarena said.
“I hope that their lifelong learning strategies and programmes will inspire other cities in Thailand and beyond.”
The city of Chachoengsao has been one of the country’s key urban centres economically, culturally and in terms of human resources.
Chiang Mai is home to a number of educational institutes and organisations and Phuket Town is a hub of sustainable creativity and pleasant living. All aspects of those cities’ city development have focused on their citizens, who are proud of where they live and their contribution to their cities’ development.
The mayors of Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket, Kolayuth Chaisang, Tussanai Buranupakorn and Somjai Suwansupana, spoke of their pride at their achievement.
Mr Chaisang said his goal was to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens”.
Mr Buranupakorn spoke of revitalising Chiang Mai while maintaining its cultural significance and Mr Suwansupana’s dream was to preserve Phuket’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism”.