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  • Ahmed Saleh

UNESCO adds Madinah, KAEC, Al-Ahsa to Global Learning Cities

Riyadh, February 14, 2024, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently announced the inclusion of Madinah, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), and Al-Ahsa in Saudi Arabia into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC). With this latest addition, Saudi Arabia now boasts five cities within the esteemed network, aligning with the overarching objective of cultivating globally competitive citizens as outlined in the sustainable development goals and Saudi Vision 2030.

The enlistment of these cities is the culmination of concerted efforts led by the National Committee for Education, Culture, and Science, under the guidance and support of Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, the Minister of Culture, and Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Benyan, the Minister of Education and vice chairman of the committee. Notably, Yanbu Industrial City was previously designated as a UNESCO Learning City in 2022, while Jubail Industrial City earned this status in 2020. Furthermore, Jubail Industrial City was honored with the UNESCO Learning City Award in 2021.

These recognitions underscore the Kingdom's commitment to fostering lifelong learning opportunities for all citizens, alongside the implementation of policies aimed at comprehensive and sustainable development. The National Committee for Education, Culture, and Science is determined to expand the network of Learning Cities further.

Established in 2012, the UNESCO GNLC endeavors to enhance lifelong learning practices across cities globally. This initiative facilitates dialogue on education policies, fosters connections between cities and educational institutions, and fosters partnerships between cities on both local and international scales.

Learning Cities leverage their resources across various sectors to promote inclusive learning opportunities for all age groups, spanning from primary education to higher education. They also prioritize learning within families and local communities, promote workplace learning, and harness modern educational technologies to foster a culture of continuous learning.

These initiatives not only enhance individual capabilities but also foster social cohesion and drive economic and cultural growth within communities, thereby contributing to the attainment of sustainable development goals. Furthermore, they aim to promote the widespread adoption of modern learning technologies and elevate the quality and excellence of education, recognizing them as pivotal components in promoting a culture of lifelong learning.

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