UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

04/25/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/25/2024 06:49

Timor-Leste and Korea Unite: A Mission for Educational Progress and Peaceful Futures

Remembering our history is about understanding who we are and where we come from. It's not just about the past-it's about shaping our future

shared a Timorese delegate during a meaningful exchange in Korea. In a step towards healing and unity through education, Timor-Leste has embraced Korea's expertise during the second session of the Benchmark Training program. Following the first successful training in Phnom Penh, this programme was held in Korea from April 3rd to April 6th, 2024, organized by UNESCO Jakarta and the government of Timor-Leste. This event, which was part of UNESCO's History and Peace Education initiative, sought to enhance the role that history education plays in promoting peace by adding cultural awareness and policy dialogue.

At the heart of the training program, there were 15 Timor-Leste officials, representing a cross-section of institutions dedicated to preserving the cultural narrative and educating the youth. They engaged in extensive discussions and participated on educational excursions with some of Korea's best institutions, such as the Ministry of Education and the National Archives, drawing parallels between the historical journeys of both nations. They explored how acknowledging past conflicts within educational curricula could pave the way to a more peaceful future.

Both nations, with their own narratives of historical strife and colonial wounds, are on journeys towards reconciling their past with an aspiration for peace.

Learning from Korea's journey helps us envision a peaceful path for ourselves.

Mr. Hugo Maria Fernandes from the Chega National Centre

The visit was more than just an educational mission; it was an eye-opener for Timor-Leste's officials, who often work in isolation, to see the power of unity. Together, they realized the pressing need for solid legal protection of their historical records. Inspired by Korea's lead, they left with plans to work together more closely, drawing from the past to inspire the future.

This Benchmark Training stands as a beacon of the History and Peace Education Project. It's a collaboration between UNESCO Jakarta, the Government of Timor-Leste, and KOICA, all committed to educating for peace. It's not just about learning-it's about changing lives.