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  • Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and Wole Soyinka participate in the Experts' Meeting on Cultural Diversity and Education in Barcelona

    17-01-2008 1:00 pm UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors HE Mrs Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and Mr Wole Soyinka participated in the International meeting of experts on "Cultural Diversity and Education", held from 14 to 16 January 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. The event was organized by UNESCO, in particular the UNESCO Chair in Languages and Education, the Institute of Catalan Studies, Barcelona, and the UNESCO Centre of Catalunya.

    The meeting dealt with the goal of promoting quality education and discussed, for example, how learning content that better accounts for the challenges posed by cultural diversity can be developed, enabling schools to fully assume their role as a centre of cultural teaching. The integration of the perceptions and expressions of cultural diversity into both formal and informal educational systems can be used as a means of responding to the new challenges posed in, and by, our increasingly plural societies.

    Mr Soyinka shared his insights in a Round Table on the theme: “Education for diversity: Raising awareness of the benefits of a cultural-diversity approach”. HE Mrs Vigdís Finnbogadóttir contributed with her profound knowledge of languages and linguistics to the Round Table “Multilingual contexts: a challenge for educational systems”. In her speech she said: “Languages are the most valuable keys to understanding the diversity of the world, the diversity of the cultures of the different areas of our planet. We all know that culture and language go hand-in-hand. Different cultures are based on different languages, and different languages reflect different cultures. We also all agree that every nation should treasure its language, just as it should treasure its natural surroundings, its heritage, and its means of sustenance. Each language is not just a uniquely expressive combination of speech and structure, it is the voice of a nation’s thoughts, the vehicle of its history, and the archive of its learning and experience. For the individual language is even more important than for nations: not only does it give us access to the world and to other human beings, but also to ourselves.”

  • Read more about UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
  • Read more about UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Wole Soyinka
  • UNESCO and Languages







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