The UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network
The UNESCO Associated Schools Project network (ASPnet) was founded in 1953 and is a global networks with more the 10,000 Educational Institutions in 181 Countries. Member Institutions range from preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, vocational training institutions and teacher training Institutions. All these Institutions work in support of the four UNESCO ASPnet themes: Intercultural understanding, peace and human rights, intercultural dialogue, education for sustainable development and United Nations priorities. ASPnet institutions are expected to rise to the challenge of entering into contact with each other, transcending borders, continents, culture and languages. ASPnet activities also focus on local situations, advocating “unity in diversity”.
The ASPnet is designed to have a multiplier effect in terms of promoting UNESCO mission. The global network is in a unique position to promote UNESCO’s values and ideals. For education to provide a powerful response to the challenge of today and the future, a focus on the quality and relevance of education is needed. Knowledge, skills and competencies must be pertinent to the 21st century and make a contribution to forge attitudes and behaviours conducive for peace, sustainable development and to promote responsible citizenship. These skills and competencies encompass creative problem solving, critical thinking and learning to live together in an increasingly multicultural world. The ASPnet is coordinated by the KNATCOM for UNESCO which is a State Corporation, mandated to facilitate the implementation of UNESCO’s activities in the Country.
National Commissions for UNESCO disseminate information on good practices so that other schools in the country can borrow a leaf and carry out similar activities. UNESCO Associated schools serve as model schools to implement new policies in education, pilot test new topics and innovative educational materials and approaches. They serve as laboratories for developing, experimenting and validating innovative educational materials developed by UNESCO or its partner organizations. Tested materials can then be better adapted to the requirements of schools in different regions. ASPnet schools also participate in research on innovative educational methods or topics of concern to UNESCO.
The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) through its Education Programme has carried out an induction capacity building workshop for Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) Patrons to share historical background of ASPnet, to equip ASPnet patrons with skills, knowledge and attitude empowering them to manage ASPnet Institutions, to assist ASPnet Patrons identify appropriate activities and flagship projects for their schools and to create networking platform for ASPnet Patrons.
KNATCOM has already trained one hundred, twenty eight (128) ASPnet patrons (in Primary schools, Secondary schools and Vocational Institutions) from each County. Currently there are over four hundred (400) Institutions which are registered and carrying out ASPnet activities. Some of the ASPnet member schools have taken part in various competitions with other ASPnet institutions around the world and also represented the Country various International conferences such as; UNESCO world Conference on ESD 2014 in Okayama, Japan, “COP 22”, the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 in Marrakesh, Morocco and International Symposium on School Violence and Bulling, 2017 in Republic of Korea, Seoul. More Info on UNESCO.org Website