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UNESCO MGIEP’s decennial anniversary: Reflect, Learn, and Innovate for a peaceful and sustainable

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To celebrate 10 years since its inaugural debut, the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) will hold a special celebratory event from the 5th to 8th of December 2022 in New Delhi, India. The theme of 10 Year Anniversary Celebration is “Education for Human Flourishing”.

‘Building Kinder Brains’, the vision of MGIEP, aims to achieve a sustainable and peaceful planet through developing social and emotional competencies of children, towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4, Target 7. With the “right” education, the ability to train and nurture young adults from an early age will lay a strong foundation to achieve a resilient and peaceful planet.

At this event, UNESCO MGIEP aims to focus on how education for human flourishing in the future will look and what are the challenges and opportunities we will face when transitioning from our present educational system to the new vision. 

On the eve of the celebrations, Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP expressed,

“Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) aims to achieve a resilient, peaceful, and sustainable planet by training and nurturing the social and emotional development of children.

“SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) acts as an anchor in transforming societies towards sustainable peace – helping build emotional and social intelligence for all learners if begun at an early age. Over the years, we have managed to train 300,000 learners in SEL in 15 countries, published over 45 research publications, and collected 5 million stories as part of our Kindness Campaign.

In order to scale, connect and reach every learner, the Institute developed its own indigenous General Data Protection Regulation Compliant Artificial-Intelligence powered learning platform, FramerSpace, which now has 250,000+ learners.”

There is a general understanding that our present education systems based on the principles of meritocracy and knowledge acquisition are insufficient for countering “wicked” problems such as climate change, learning poverty, anxiety and stress leading to mental illness this hindering the pursuit of flourishing for a peaceful and sustainable planet. 

At the opening ceremony of the 10 Year Anniversary celebration, UNESCO MGIEP will sign key strategic agreements and Memorandums of Association (MOUs), including with the Director National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to train and certify teachers 8.4 million teachers in India on digital pedagogies and social and emotional learning. 

Furthermore, a letter of intent will be signed with the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), Government of Karnataka and Excelsoft Technologies, in which UNESCO MGIEP will act as knowledge partners to operationalize the education vertical of Centre of Excellence on Metaverse announced by the State Government of Karnataka in Mysuru, India. 

A third agreement will be signed between MGIEP and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur to collaborate on joint areas of research in learning the impact of technology on learning and cognitive development in children and applications of cognitive science in developing innovative technologies for learning in the classroom.

The Institute will also release its research publications on SEL Guidelines for policymakers and schools, the Universal Screening Guidelines, The Blue DOT (the Institute’s flagship publication) on Mental Health and SEL as well six country-specific Digital Readiness Index summaries for Maldives, South Africa, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan and Estonia.

Additionally, the event will feature a keynote address by some renowned speakers such as Sonam Wagchuk and Gregoire Borst, workshops on topics such as Global Citizenship, learning in uncertain times, strategies to build emotional resilience and panels discussions on Ethical AI, and potential application of behavioural insights in education to name a few. These aim to inspire, build knowledge, and gain a new dimensional perspective to bridge the science-policy gap in education.  There is also an exclusive live performance by two times Grammy award winner Ricky Kej on the 7th of December, titled Kindness is the Way.

The 4 days of celebration will conclude with a ‘Distinguished Lecture Series’ by Professor Daniel Markovits on the 8th of December at Kamani Auditorium. This is the tenth lecture in the ‘Distinguished Lecture’ series entitled “The Good Life After the Age of Growth”. Daniel Markovits is an award-winning author and professor of Law at Yale Law School and is named one of the world’s top 50 thinkers by Prospect Magazine. 

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