An International Conference of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network: Contributing effectively to the implementation of SDG 4 and Education 2030 took place in Sanya, People's Republic of China, from 8 to 10 April.
It gathered National ASPnet Coordinators from 35 countries, policy makers and specialised institutions such as APCEIU, with the aim of identifying concrete actions for ASPnet to support the implementation of Education 2030 and the achievement of targets 4.7 and 4.a.
Organized by the Ministry of Education in China, in cooperation with UNESCO, the conference made an important contribution to UNESCO's current efforts to reform and revitalize the ASPnet in order to better guide and sustain the work of its over 10,000 member institutions and to increase their prospects for cooperation and exchange.
Based on presentations about the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Global Action Plan for ESD, UNESCO's coordination activities for ASPnet and the
Whole-school Approach to ESD, participants discussed how the network can be strengthened and further developed in the SDG context to translate UNESCO's values and priorities into teaching and learning. In plenary and group work sessions, participants exchanged views on the thematic focus of ASPnet and strategies for collaboration between countries and regions. The ASPnet actors also shared experiences on how to ensure political attention and support for the work and impact of Associated schools in their respective countries, and strategies for promoting and scaling up its innovative practices in order to inform national education policy. During a visit to the newest ASPnet member in China, the Ledong Huangliu High School in Hainan Province, the delegates got first-hand insights into the Chinese education system and its engagement with, and contribution to, ASPnet.
Last but not least, the conference established or revived direct contacts between the key actors of the ASPnet – its National Coordinators – in order to increase exchange, collaboration and networking among ASPnet member institutions at regional and international levels, especially around ESD and GCED.