Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Report on UNESCO's International Conference

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Report on UNESCO's International Conference

Article excerpt

The Second International Congress on Education and Informatics convened by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was held in Moscow, July 1-5, 1996 at the Moscow University. Over 1,000 representatives from 90 nations (the U.S. is not a member) included senior parliamentarians, Ministers of Education, university and school leaders, curriculum specialists, and hardware and software developers and suppliers. I was honored to have been a member of the Program Committee, one of the Vice Presidents of the Congress and chair of the "Drafting Group" to draft declarations and recommendations for UNESCO and Member States.

There had been some concern that the Russian Presidential election, which was held during the week, might interrupt the Congress since voting was conducted outside the main meeting hall. However, the area was roped off and the process seemed to proceed in a very orderly fashion. It was even possible for Professor Vladimir Kinelev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Government and Chairman of the State Committee of Higher Education to carry out his political duties as well as being President of the UNESCO Congress.

A working document had been prepared for the delegates to discuss. Three areas were of primary concern:

* Promoting application of information and communication technologies for the free flow of information, innovation and effective management in education, science, culture and the media.

* Encouraging international cooperation on legal, ethical and educational issues raised by the social and cultural implications of information and communication technologies.

* Assisting Member States, particularly developing countries, in building information and communication capabilities, benefiting from new applications of information and communication technologies, and ensuring that these technologies do not lead to exclusion among and within societies.

* Results of the Congress

The Congress was organized around six major themes: the Learner, Teacher's Technologies, Social Issues, Economic Issues, Educational Policies and New Technologies, and Issues for International Cooperation. Many papers were presented on the above topics, both in Plenary Sessions and in theme sessions called "commissions," which explored the topics in greater depth. The languages of the Congress were English, French and Russian with automatic translation offered in every session. …

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