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Incheon's Yeonsu-gu gears up for 5th International Conference on Learning Cities with UNESCO

Ko Nam-seok, head of Incheon’s Yeonsu-gu Office, speaks at the 2019 UNESCO GNLC Yeonsu Golden Harbor Symposium at Ghent University in Songdo, Incheon. (Yeonsu-gu)
Ko Nam-seok, head of Incheon’s Yeonsu-gu Office, speaks at the 2019 UNESCO GNLC Yeonsu Golden Harbor Symposium at Ghent University in Songdo, Incheon. (Yeonsu-gu)

Yeonsu-gu, a district located in Incheon, has started preparing to host the fifth International Conference on Learning Cities held by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, slated for October 2021.

The conference will be held at Songdo Convensia for three days, with some 5,000 guests from around the world. Representatives from 197 UNESCO Lifelong Learning member countries and 174 UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities member cities from 55 different countries are set to take part in the event.

Under the theme “Global Wellness Education and Emergency Response,” the event seeks to find solutions for lifelong education during the pandemic and in a post-coronavirus era. Korea’s success in the quarantine experience is expected to help enhance Korea’s international status in the education sector.

Yeonsu-gu was selected as a special education zone in 2012 after Incheon was designated as a lifelong learning city in 2003. The region was approved to join GNLC in 2018 and was selected as a coordinator city for the GNLC World Citizenship Education Cluster in 2019.

In October 2019, Ko Nam-seok, head of the district office, participated in the fourth UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities in Medellin, Colombia, to share his lifelong learning experience to cities around the world.

“Mankind will need to continue to prepare for global crises similar to COVID-19,” Ko said. “Korea, Incheon and Yeonsu-gu are the optimum locations to share the experience of wisely coping with the crisis through K-quarantine methods with learning cities around the world.”

Yeonsu-gu will emphasize Songdo International City’s advanced communication industry, the Trans-Pacific Global Hub City and the Incheon Global Campus zone hosting international schools in a bid to establish the district’s role as the special international education zone.

Other venues like the Pentaport Rock Festival and Songdo Beer Festival are to be featured to promote a future-oriented city image.

“Both Incheon and Yeonsu-gu have aspirations and capabilities to support the fifth International Conference on Learning Cities, which will explore sustainable development, based on people’s interest and passionate endorsement for citizens’ lifelong learning,” Ko said.

By Song Donna (donnadsong@heraldcorp.com) and Lee Hong-seok (gilbert@heraldcorp.com)
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