The Moroccan cities of Laayoune, Benguerir and Chefchaouen have been declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “learning cities”.
The Moroccan National Commission for Education, Science and Culture said in a statement Wednesday that the three cities are now part of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.
The Network of Learning Cities was created in accordance with the “Beijing Declaration” adopted by the International Conference on Learning Cities, held in Beijing, China, October 21-23, 2013, the statement said.
It’s the first time that Morocco integrates the Global network that mus-ters 230 cities in 64 countries, with the Wednesday inclusion of 55 cities from 27 countries in the network as announced by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the coor-dinator of the network. The 55 cities are joining the UNESCO GNLC for standing out as ex-amples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level, the UIL said.
The Moroccan cities’ integration within the UNESCO Network will allow them to share with other cities their experiences in education, training and research, and to benefit from best practices and successful experiences in the fields of lifelong learning.
Driven by the principle of inclusion, learning cities advance policies and practices that foster sustainable development, notably through lifelong learning programs that promote equity, cohesion and peace. When local governments empower communities and social actors to engage in the implementation of lifelong learning strategies and programs, they sponsor the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
More specifically, learning cities effectively mobilize resources in every sector to promote inclusive learning, from basic to higher education; revitalizes learning in families and communities; facilitates learning for and in the workplace; extends the use of modern learning technologies; enhances quality and excellence in learning; and fosters a culture of learning throughout life.
In doing so, a learning city supports individual empowerment and social inclusion, economic development and cultural prosperity, and sustainable development, and supports equity and inclusion as well.