​​Dear ASPnet community,
Dear National Coordinators,
Dear teachers, students and parents,

Among our ASPnet members, we have over 100 Teacher Training Institutes (TTIs) in more than 30 countries around the world. TTIs are the fundamental vehicles to achieve SDG4  target 4.7 through the capacity-building of future educators. For that reason, we dedicate this issue to the role of TTIs within the context of UNESCO and as ASPnet members. And we are happy to include a special message from Mr Borhene Chakroun, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems and Chief of the Section for Teacher Education a.i. about UNESCO's work with TTIs and Global Citizenship Education for Sustainable Development.

We also feature a mapping on how TTIs are engaged within ASPnet, and information on our current "Change Initiative" activity which was launched with a successful webinar, the first in a series, aimed at promoting SDG target 4.7 through Global Citizenship Education and Education for Sustainable Development in teacher education and training. The image accompanying my message is a thought cloud shared by the participants at the webinar, which shows their positive experiences and appreciation for the exchanges with colleagues around the world.

This issue also highlights good examples of ASPnet's increasing involvement and visibility in numerous UNESCO activities, as well as inspiring voices shared by some amazing students. We encourage you to regularly check our new dedicated page on the ASPnet website for interesting and relevant news as they happen! Finally, yet importantly, as we strive to continually improve our newsletter, we want to sincerely thank those who have provided us with their valuable inputs through the survey shared in the last issue.  I also invite again those who have not yet done so to contribute your inputs! You are the network, and your voices are essential!

​Stay safe. Stay CONNECTed!

Julie Saito, ASPnet International Coordinator

Special message from Borhene Chakroun, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems and Chief of the Section for Teacher Education a.i.​

UNESCO's work with Teacher Training Institutions
"Protecting education is also protecting teachers, and education resilience depends on teachers' resilience"

See the full video message and bio ​

Teacher Training Institutions and ASPnet
Well-trained and motivated teachers are the key to successful education. They can shape world views and attitudes, nurture potential and skills and bring about behavioral changes in individual learners. They play an enormous role in equipping young people with knowledge, skills and values to actively participate in society and contribute to finding solutions to the pressing challenges our planet and humanity are facing today, both locally and globally.  In recent years, many countries have made tremendous efforts to develop or reform their teacher policy and practices, to mainstream emerging issues in the programmes of initial and in-service training. However, a lot remains to be done with regards to mainstreaming GCED in teacher education and training. In many countries, it is neither included in teacher education curricula nor mainstreamed into the school curricula. In the following section we want to show you how ASPnet is working with TTIs in general and addressing the issue of GCED in particular.

Mapping of ASPnet Teacher Training Institutions 

The ASPnet International Coordination Unit conducted a survey among ASPnet Teacher Education and Training Institutions (TEIs) in 2019. The aim of the survey was to better understand how many TEIs were still active and where they are located. While TEIs started joining ASPnet in the 1960s, the Global Citizenship Education for Sustainable Development project is the first global initiative targeting them. Therefore, this survey was critically important to learn about the type of training provided (pre-service or in-service or both), for which levels of education they train teachers and how they are connected and collaborate with other ASPnet members in their country and abroad as well as within the wider UNESCO family. Most importantly, we were interested in the approach and activities of TEIs related to Global Citizenship Education and, more generally, Target 4.7. Read the full article here. We will share our new brochure on the mapping soon.​

ASPnet's Change Initiative – First Webinar with Teacher Training Institutions

On 14 October 2020 ASPnet organized the first of a series of webinars, to launch the "Change Initiative - Teacher Education & Training Institutions (TEIs) for Global Citizenship Education for Sustainable Development". The new initiative is part of the global ASPnet project "Teacher Training in Support of Global Citizenship Education for Sustainable Development", with the objective of building a community of practice of TEIs by undertaking joint activities to promote and strengthen Global Citizenship Education for Sustainable Development in teacher education and training.

This initial webinar included participating TEIs from Argentina, Belgium, Costa Rica, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia and will be followed by further webinars through 2021. The full webinar report can be found here.​​

Recent and upcoming UNESCO activities

International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying – Every year on the first Thursday of November UNESCO marks this day recognizing that school-related violence in all its forms is an infringement of children and adolescents' rights to education and to health and well-being. It calls upon Member States, UN partners, other relevant international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations, individuals and other stakeholders to help promote, celebrate and facilitate the international day. Find more info on the International Day here , and the International Conference held this year on 5 November 2020 here​ and a summery article​. In this context an official video was produced, which captured, among many others, the voices from ASPnet Schools in Greece, Honduras and Lebanon. 

Global Education Meeting -  Heads of State and Government, ministers from over 70 countries and international partners met online in an extraordinary Global Education Meeting convened by UNESCO, the governments of Ghana, Norway and the United Kingdom on 22 October and adopted a declaration expressing strong commitment to protect education financing and outlining measures to be adopted over the next year to safeguard education from the devastating impact of the disruption caused by COVID19. Read more here

News from ASPnet

In 2021, UNESCO will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and its World Network of Biosphere reserves, intended as 'learning places for sustainable development', ASPnet schools having been involved frequently. The Programme would like to find out more about partnerships between ASPnet schools and UNESCO biosphere reserves in your country, including collecting examples of good practices. The call to participate in a short survey before 20 November 2020.​

The Week of Sound Association, an official UNESCO partner is organizing a short film contest entitled "When Sound Creates the Image!". All ASPnet schools are invited to participate by making a short film based on a soundtrack created by the French composer Philippe Rombi. Please see more information on how to participate   and info about UNESCO's involvement here and the association's work.​
Following the announcement of this contest we would like to thank those who shared the info with their ASPnet members to inspire students to write and share their stories of imagined conversations with the Little Prince. Having received some inquiries on how to take part we are issuing this reminder to mobilize schools that have not yet participated and give you more information about the contest.​


UNESCO Director-General, Ms Audrey Azoulay visited the ASPnet schools "le Lycée de filles Kabambare" and "le Lycée de limité"  in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) during a recent trip, where she highlighted the importance of girls' education. ​

In the context of the current pandemic as well as the aftermath of the explosion in Beirut in August of this year, French ASPnet schools in France initiated setting up partnerships with ASPnet schools in Lebanon. The first partnership is between the Michel Chasles college in France and the Zahrat El Ishan school in Beirut and aims to provide support and solidarity in the wider context of strengthening sustainable development as issued in an official circular by the French government on 24 September 2020. More info and the official French Ministry of Education circular here .

The National Coordination of ASPnet Germany called on German UNESCO Associated Schools to contact their partner schools worldwide and create a symbol of solidarity during the global crisis. Schools and other partners from 26 countries and five continents sent in photos, videos and texts about their experiences during the pandemic.

Spreading the message for ASPnet 

  • ​Fresh off the press

We are very excited to share with you an article ASPnet contributed to the 21st edition of the education magazine "ENGAGE– Changing Lives through Education", with the issue focusing on the theme of "Education and Sustainability". ENGAGE is a magazine published by the Steve Sinnot Foundation, a UK based NGO supporting teachers and educators in the pursuit of SDG 4. Read the full article.

  • Voices of ASPnet students

Fuji-Sacred-Heart-Senior-High-School-Japan.PNGWe are delighted to feature two exceptional messages by students at our ASPnet school Fuji Sacred Heart Senior High School in Japan, who won 1st prizes in a English speech contest in the Shizuoka Prefecture. They showcase the spirit of spreading UNESCO values through ASPnet and reflect the valuable contribution of ASPnet students to their communities, not just in Japan but around the world.
quote.PNGMs Hanano Hisatomi (left on the photo) won the 1st prize in the category of students with or without experience of living abroad​​.
Read the full text here

Ms Yagi Sara won 1st prize at the competition in the category of students who have lived abroad less than 6 months. Her theme is "Satoyama" - how to live in harmony with nature. Read the full text here.