The Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) called for allocating resources to support Member States’ efforts to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to education, science, culture and development. He also called for supporting their efforts to fight poverty, anchor the values of moderation and middle stance, support the youth and women, protect children, provide educational opportunities for refugees and displaced persons, safeguard heritage, develop cultural industries and keep up with the new AI roles, future education models and virtual applications of societal services in general.
The DG made this statement at the opening of the Sixth Partnership Forum of the Organizations ICESCO, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), and the Arab Bureau of Education in the Gulf States (ABEGS), held today, Wednesday, October 20, 2021, both face-to-face at ABEGS headquarters in Riyadh and via videoconference. The meeting was held under the theme, “Organizations’ post-COVID-19 vision and plans to address emergencies and crises” and saw the participation of Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Asmi, ABEGS DG, Dr. Mohamed Walad Amar, ALECSO DG, and the Secretaries-General of the National Commissions for Education, Science and Culture in the Arab countries.
Dr. AlMalik highlighted the major initiatives and programs that ICESCO launched and implemented during the pandemic, underscoring that the three international organizations should exert more efforts to sustain communications and promote partnerships to expedite the rate of achieving sustainable development in their respective Member States.
At the close of his address, the DG stated that the meeting should yield joint initiatives between the three organizations to support Member States’ efforts to recover from the pandemic, adding that the three parties should agree on funding mechanisms for implementing these initiatives. He also conveyed ICESCO’s invitation to host the next meeting at its headquarters in Rabat, reiterating the Organization’s strong support for educational, scientific and cultural systems in the Member States.
In his address, Dr. Asmi stated that although it has caused a myriad of challenges in various sectors, the pandemic encouraged innovation in developing alternative solutions to classroom education and highlighted the importance of having pre-existing plans to ensure the continuity of education. He added that this meeting is a step towards exploring future prospects, managing and finding solutions for crises, and an opportunity to benefit from the organizations’ experiences and work during the pandemic.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Walad Amar talked about the initiatives that ALECSO launched to contribute to the continuity of the educational process during the pandemic, which has an impact on the various aspects of life and imposed virtual communication. The ALECSO official also highlighted several training sessions implemented to ensure the continuity of education.
Ms. Mahra Hilal Mohd E. Almutaiwei, Director of the UNESCO Regional Center for Educational Planning, highlighted the importance of complementarity and coordination among international organizations to achieve sustainable development and allocate resources to develop education. For his part, the Director of UNESCO Regional Center for Quality and Excellence in Education, Dr. Abdeulrahman Al-Diress, stated that it is imperative to anticipate the future of education and find innovative solutions to challenges.
Afterward, representatives from the three organizations presented the respective visions of ICESCO, ALECSO, and ABEGS, which all agree on anticipating the future and adopting technology in addressing crises and emergencies. Several Secretaries-General of Arab National Commissions also talked about the importance of promoting cooperation and partnership between the three organizations.
At the close of its proceedings, the meeting issued many recommendations, which represent a roadmap for promoting cooperation and set mechanisms for joint action to ensure the attainment of shared goals through this partnership.