İzmir, the Clock Tower

3 Turkish cities included in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

İzmir, Balıkesir and Afyonkarahisar have become part of this network in which lifelong learning and education are promoted.

3 Turkish cities – İzmir, Balıkesir and Afyonkarahisar – have been included by UNESCO in its Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC), defined by the UN body as those in whichi is promoted the culture of learning, its quality and the use of technologies for it, both in formal and informal education.

“These cities have shown that effective and lasting learning policies and practices can drive the development of inclusive, safe and sustainable cities, and contribute to the 2030 Agenda,” UNESCO explained in a statement as part of the appointment of 55 new learning cities in 27 countries, including Turkey. In total, the list is made up of 230 cities in 64 countries around the world.

“These cities stand out as examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at the local level … A strong commitment to lifelong learning by local and higher authorities is a key prerequisite to become a learning city,” added the UNESCO statement.

David Atchoarena, director of the Institute for Lifelong Learning and coordinator of the network of learning cities, highlighted for his part the new importance that education has acquired as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has “underscored the need to build more resilient educational systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be a center of this task, “he said.

“During the pandemic, UNESCO learning cities around the world have shown that they are well positioned to make lifelong learning a reality, even under difficult conditions,” concluded Atchoarena.