UNESCO joins with the rest of the world’s scientific community to pay tribute to the Iranian born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who died on Saturday at the age of 40. Mirzakhani was the first woman to have received the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics. She was awarded the medal in 2014, an honor that is widely acknowledged as the Noble Prize of mathematics.
Mirzakhani’s pioneering work was reshaping the field of mathematics, in particular the study of geometry. She was also an inspiration to young women everywhere and an immense source of encouragement for all those who intend to pursue a career in basic sciences or mathematics. May her memory also serve to encourage young women to break through persistent and unfounded stereotypes when comes to young girls pursuing career in math and science.
UNESCO extends its condolences to her family and to the people of Iran.
Students and teachers representing schools from 10 countries were awarded at a prize ceremony for the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) global contest ‘Opening Hearts and Minds to Refugees’ at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on 6 July, 2017.
The contest, to produce artwork including paintings, collages, short stories and video clips, was organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Federal Research and Methodological Centre for Tolerance - Tolerance Centre.
Its aim was to raise awareness about the rights of refugees and the need to respect and support them. The contest, aligned with the ASPnet priority, Global Citizenship Education, was open to the 11,000 ASPnet member schools. They encouraged their students to use different artistic expressions to promote a culture of living together and international understanding that cherishes diversity.
The ten winners - pre-primary, primary and secondary schools - were selected by a jury from applications received from all over the world. The jury also gave four special mentions to additional works for the strong messages they expressed in engaging with the theme.
With the strong support and funding of the Tolerance Centre, the first, second and third prize winning schools receive USD 2 000, 1 500 and 1 000 respectively for the purchase of educational materials.
Hope for a common, inclusive future
Ms Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, said: “With the challenges encountered daily by refugees trying to settle in a new country, the artworks of these students demonstrate hope for a common, inclusive future in which no one is left behind”.
Addressing the students Mr Svein Osttveit, Director of the Executive Office, UNESCO Education Sector and representative of the Assistant Director-General for Education, said: ‘We can see from your artworks that you have done research to know about refugees. You put yourselves in their shoes and you used your creativity to tell us that we should, like you, open our hearts and minds and learn to live together’.
Ms Elena Pronicheva, Deputy Director of the Tolerance Centre, underlined the effectiveness of the work of the Centre with UNESCO, based on the prevention of xenophobia and extremism, which includes the issue of international migration and refugees rights.
The artwork will be exposed on the UNESCO and Tolerance Centre websites.
The laureates are:
- 1st Prize: Special Education Institution Saulespuķe from Islice parish, Bauska Municipality, Latvia
- 2nd Prize: Public Preschool institution, Nasa radost, from Herceg-Novi, Montenegro
Painting/Collage: Children's world house of love and hope for all
- 3rd Prize: Escola Virolai Griu from Barcelona, Spain
- Special Mention: Sterrenbos Hamme, from Hamme, Belgium
Primary school category:
- 1st Prize – ex-aequo : 13th Primary School of Trikala, from Trikala, Greece
1st Prize – ex-aequo: École Internationale Bilingue Victor Hugo from Paris, France
Collage: Cœurs et esprit ouverts aux réfugiés
- 2nd Prize: Colegio Americano Anáhuac from San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico
Painting: Extrañando el hogar (Missing home)
- 3rd Prize: Sterrenbos Hamme, from Hamme, Belgium –
- Special Mention: HIM Academy Public School, from Hamirpur, India
Secondary school category:
- 1st Prize: Centre Régional d'Enseignement Technique et de Formation Professionnelle Région Maritime (CRETFP-RM) from Lomé, Togo
Video Clip : Soutenons les réfugiés
- 2nd Prize: Agrupamento de Escolas Frei Gonçalo de Azevedo from S. Domingos de Rana, Portugal
Video Clip: We need you!
- 3rd Prize: Al Itqan American School from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Short Story: The Week
- Special Mentions (2):
Baku European Lyceum from Baku, Azerbaijan
Video Clip: Let’s open our hearts to refugees
IES Ramiro de Maeztu from Madrid, Spain
Short Story : Un voyage en 140 caractères
Academics from around the world heard about UNESCO research on media development and Media and Information Literacy at two events in Cartagena, Colombia, on Saturday 16 July.
The occasion was the eve of the 60th congress of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, a global academic network that was formed under the aegis of UNESCO in 1957.
In Cartagena, UNESCO director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, addressed a pre-conference titled “Reflections on Foreign Aid, Philanthropy and Change in Media Systems”, which was organized by the Center for International Media Assistance; School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds; University of Westminster, Communication and Media Research Institute; and Global Forum for Media Development.
He highlighted the conceptualization of media development that underpins the Organisation’s Media Development Indicators, which were endorsed in 2006 by the 39-Member State council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
“The Media Development Indicators assess the state of media freedom, pluralism, and independence, along with safety and gender-sensitive criteria,” said Berger. “They do this by covering the legal and economic environment, as well as technical infrastructure and journalism support through capacity-building and civil society services”.
In addition, the indicators take stock of what this all means for the democratic performance of media, he explained.
The UNESCO director also drew attention to “opportunities for new research into media development arising from the indicators for Sustainable Development Goal 16.10 and from the outcome document of the 10 year review of the World Summit on the Information Society,” said Berger.
In a presentation to a second pre-conference titled “Global Shifts in Media Education: Where are we now?”, Berger previewed UNESCO research on how Media and Information Literacy(MIL) could engage with the right to privacy.
“MIL can teach understanding of the right to privacy, and its relation to anonymity and encryption” he said. “It can also promote understanding of risks to privacy, as well as empower people to apply judgement in what information they share and the terms and conditions of online services they use.”
Berger described the results of two studies commissioned by UNESCO – one exploring views on privacy among 1,735 young people across the world, and the other probing the perspectives of 231 MIL providers.
“These surveys show strong interest by youth in being empowered about privacy issues, but limited attention to the issue in courses provided by MIL educators.”
The MIL-privacy research will be published later in the year, and launched in the Global MIL Week 2017 during the feature global conference from 24 to 27 October 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica.