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UNESCO Director-General opens global symposium: ‘Cracking the code’ to end gender disparities in STEM

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In his opening remarks, Thai Vice-Minister of Education Dr Sophon Napathorn said the full realisation of every citizen’s potential, including girls and women, is essential to national and global development – both his country’s “Thailand 4.0” plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “STEM education is currently integrated and will be extended to all schools nationwide. Thailand has also created a STEM education network to ensure that STEM is broadly spread across the country,” Dr Sophon said at the opening of the conference. “I firmly believe [the forum’s] success will suggest innovative ways for countries to introduce STEM education.”

Over the next three days, participants will explore the gender inequalities that still persist in STEM education, but also the innovative solutions empowering girls and women worldwide, and how these can be shared and replicated. The goal is for that work to have tangible consequences for girls’ outcomes far after the symposium’s completion.

“I see the face of the 2030 Agenda as a young teenager,” Ms Bokova said when launching the ‘Cracking the code‘ publication, “in school, not forced into marriage or work, empowered to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics – supported by her family and community to become everything she dreams … an engineer, a research, a medical doctor. Without this, no society will prosper.”

During her third visit to Thailand and first since 2012, the Director-General will also be signing the official MOU establishing the International Training Centre in Astronomy, a Category 2 centre under UNESCO, hosted by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand.


 

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