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Intercultural Communication Led by UNESCO Essay

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Updated: Nov 16th, 2021


UNESCO is an organization whose main aim is to promote peace and security throughout the whole world. UNESCO advocates for the collaboration of nations through education, science and culture to achieve its goals. The organization aspires to achieve universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights, and freedom for all the communities in the world. It serves all people in spite of race, sex, language and religion. UNESCO has always worked to promote peace among communities through International corporations and education1. Educators who work with UNESCO generate inspiring ideas and propositions that are concerned with the education of young people for international understanding.

Intercultural communication has always been a challenge to many cultures in the world. UNESCO advocates for well-developed relationships among cultures, through online communication. Different cultures can communicate online and involve in building learning communities. Individuals from different communities can communicate online and are able to establish honesty by exchanging information. Culture is a historical pattern that is transmitted through actions and is inherited by people of a particular community. 2 Culture is a way of life of people in a society, it describes how people communicate, carry out activities and develop their knowledge on attitudes towards life.

The associated schools’ project network (ASPNET)

ASPNET is a project that was started by UNESCO in 1953. Currently, there are about 7793 institutions that participate in the project at all levels of education in 175 countries of the world. UNESCO initiated the ASPNET project in order to enhance peace in the minds of people. The project was established to promote education for international understanding, peace and human rights. This project prepares children and the youth to encounter the challenges that face humanity especially within the context of natural resources3. The purpose of UNESCO for starting ASPNET was to contribute to peace and security. This would be achieved by promoting the collaboration of nations through education, science and culture. UNESCO has participated more in promoting peace and international cooperation through education.

ASPNET conducts pilot projects which are aimed at preparing children and youth in meeting the challenges that exist in the complex and mutually dependent world. The project works towards promoting the ideals of UNESCO of peace and security for all communities in the world4. The involvement of ASPNET schools in peacebuilding enhances intercultural learning among the communities from which the students come. Students from different schools have a lot that can be shared among them. Through interactions and learning in school, students understand better the behavior of fellow students. Students in one region can interact and learn about different cultures from other countries.

ASPNET schools encourage students to associate with and appreciated other cultures. Through intercultural learning, students develop a mutual understanding of activities that are carried out by other cultures. People from different cultures need to be taught how to appreciate other cultures. Intercultural learning helps students to understand better their friends and appreciate them in all activities. There is indeed no superior culture in the world and ASPNET takes the challenge to educate people that all cultures must be respected.

It is through education whereby ASPNET conducts its activities to reach the whole world. Intercultural learning uses the four pillars of learning that encourages students to learn to know, learn to be, learning to do, and learn to live together. These are the four pillars of intercultural learning which are imparted to students in schools. Teachers are trained on the best methods of teaching that can be used to instill good morals in the students.

ASPNET schools encourage students to respect other cultures. Education is important to provide students with the essential guidelines on how to live together with people from other cultures. Teachers must initiate strategies that enable students to interact outside classrooms. They should use innovative teaching methods, use local as well as international information to enable students to appreciate others5.

ASPNET goals

According to6 ASPNET usually conducts its activities at the global level to achieve the following goals.

National level

At the national level, a network of schools is established by the national commissions for UNESCO and ministries of education to carry out activities that aid in improving quality education. ASPNET schools promote education on ethical and cultural values in the international community. Information extracted by the network of schools is distributed to other schools in the country which enables them to carry out similar activities. The distribution of information to other schools contributes to reforms and renewal in the education system.

Regional level

ASPNET schools in countries within one region are found to share the same language, religion and culture. Regions of the world are encouraged to set up an educational plan of action. ASPNET advocates that countries in the region should hold regional seminars and workshops for National coordinators and teachers. These seminars and workshops will enhance interaction among students and teachers from different cultures, hence improving intercultural learning among the schools.

International level

ASPNET aims at initiating efforts that will facilitate the exchange of information at all levels. ASPNET schools conduct international flagship projects, special events, and campaigns to create contacts and links of harmony among institutions that participate. This improves intercultural learning among the students who share information, activities and experiences.

In education, ASPNET schools are encouraged to undertake pilot projects on intercultural. The students are advised to and examine various facets of the problem locally, nationally and internationally. ASPNET takes to study world concerns and the role of the United Nations in intercultural learning. The students come with various solutions to the projects undertaken, that give details on the future role of the United Nations and its specialized agencies in helping to solve intercultural issues. Students use the information that the United Nations presents concerning ways in which they try to solve intercultural issues and relate these issues with their own lives now and in the future7.

In intercultural learning, students are able to understand different experiences of various cultures on human rights in society. Students undertake their projects in other countries to establish the cultures that are held at the local and national levels of a country. Interaction among ASPNET schools encourages staff, parents, and students to exchange contacts that are useful in communication.

They interact with the native people and immigrant groups as well as embassies and cultural centers of other nations. These groups and organizations provide a lot of information and help in promoting better understanding and appreciation of other customs, traditions and values. Students can launch exhibitions where the groups and organizations can contribute by providing speakers who address students about the country and its role in the UN family8.

Associated schools in UNESCO

UNESCO associated schools were founded in 1953 and comprises of a global network of some 8000 educational institutions found in 177 countries9. ASPNET schools involve pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools, and teacher training institutions. The schools carry out projects that can make a difference in achieving the goals estimated by UNESCO on intercultural learning. ASPNET project encourages teachers within the regions to submit good educational practices that promote understanding of different cultures among different societies.

The schools are able to promote students’ awareness of the existence of multi-cultures in the regions. ASPNET schools advocate for the accessibility of education to all sexes in every community. Various cultures are found to discriminate among sexes in education. The project encourages students to advocate for gender equality in education among the cultures in the region. Currently, the UNESCO-associated schools invited people to participate in the global week that took place on 20-26 April 2009. The youth and the adult were encouraged to exhibit the culture of learning what other people do and how different it is from their practices.

ASPNET strategy and plan of action on intercultural learning

ASPNET has been interested in working towards reinforcing, the humanistic, ethical, cultural and international dimensions of education. The project is intended to enhance peace, democracy, rights, sustainable development and the quality of life.

Mission statement

As a network of committed schools, we work to promote and deliver quality education for the achievement of peace, liberty, justice and human development that enables us to meet the demanding education requirements of children and youth in the whole world.

ASPNET schools aim at achieving peace and positive change among different communities in the world. They give much importance on achieving education for all as well as contributing to the achievement of the United Nations millennium goals. They also aim at implementing UNESCO’s strategies and programs in education, science, culture and communication.

UNESCO (9) argues that, in order to achieve the mission of navigators of peace, ASPNET principals, teachers and students are required to assume leadership roles in their schools, societies, and nations as well as the international community. They are privileged members of the global network which is meant to achieve the ideals of UNESCO. Enhancing peace among communities promotes intercultural learning in societies. Students advise communities in their region to have courage, perseverance, share life skills, creativity and be open to one another.

This will ensure that there is peace among the cultures and people are able to learn from one another.

ASPNET schools share one vision

The network is inspired by the UNESCO constitution to promote education for all to achieve justice, liberty, peace and human development.

Objectives of ASPNET

The project initiated by UNESCO works to achieve a global network of schools that is committed to quality improvement in support of EFA. They focus on promoting quality education as a right of all learners emphasizing the scope of quality that is inherent in the UNESCO mandate. The project has also the objective of reinforcing, disseminating, and mainstreaming good practice. It promotes local learning of living together in peace and harmony among cultures. It also serves to contribute to socio-economic and cultural development10.

ASPNET has a continued work that supports peace, human rights, tolerance, mutual understanding, and respect for diversity. Students and teachers in the schools emphasize the understanding of issues of HIV/AIDS, conflict resolution among cultures. They emphasize new and innovative approaches to learning that promote the involvement of interdisciplinary, solidarity and cooperative learning among people of different societies.

The schools involved in the project achieve the objectives by planning and implementing flagship projects with a focus on the main scope of quality education. The schools use innovative approaches that enhance intercultural learning and improve educational quality11. They also engage in capacity development for national ASP coordinators, principals and teachers who strengthen cooperation and coordination with field offices. The network enhances intercultural learning by advocating four pillars of learning.

12 ASPNET supports the provision of cognitive tools in society that helps people understand the world with the existence of complex cultures. They provide an appropriate and adequate foundation for future learning. Students are encouraged to learn by doing where they are given skills that will enable them to effectively take part in the global economy and society. By learning to be, students are provided with self-analytical skills that enable them to develop to the fullest potential as complete people in society. Students also are taught how to live together where they are exposed to the values implicit within human rights and democratic principles.

They are taught values that advocate for intercultural understanding and respect peace at all levels in the society of the society and human relationships. Students are able to understand the need for different cultures to live in peace and harmony.

Intercultural learning builds students through learning to know where they should combine broad general knowledge when working on projects. It is evident that general education should enable a student to come across other languages and areas of knowledge. This ensures that issues that come with the problem of communication can easily be resolved. Students gain the skills of dealing with many situations as well as working in teams. Intercultural learning advocates for learning to do where students are taught how to acquire necessary competencies that give them a place in society. Students are able to learn different ways of living together with people from other communities13.

They learn how to develop an understanding of other people and appreciate interdependence. They learn how to undertake cooperative projects and manage conflicts among themselves. Here the spirit of respect for the values of pluralism, mutual understanding, peace and cultural diversity must be possessed by people. Students are taught how to become better people in the future where knowledge of developing personality is imparted to them. They are taught how to act with greater autonomy, judgment and have personal responsibility. Complete education to the students should not disregard any aspect of a person’s potential.

The successes of ASP are facilitated through sharing and mainstreaming good practices that will deliver quality education for multiple effects. The schools facilitate result-based programming and working modalities that will enable students to cope with emerging issues and challenges in society. They also harness the great potential of using ICT to advance the education system and as an instrument for networking.

The project will achieve better networking in ASPNET by recognizing and nurturing the volunteer spirit and idealism at the grass root. The schools involve families and local communities who contribute to ideas of quality education for all. The project strengthens partnership and networking among ASPNET schools and non-ASP schools, universities, teacher education and research institutions, non-governmental organizations and other civil society institutions14.

ASPNET uses intercultural dialogue to enhance intercultural learning in the communities. ASPNET recognizes the fact that the world is experiencing rapid change. Communities are facing many challenges that occur due to cultural, political, economic and social disorders. Through education, ASPNET plays a big role in promoting social cohesion and peaceful coexistence15. The network has programs that encourage dialogue between students of different cultures, beliefs and religions.

Education provides an important and meaningful contribution to sustainable and tolerant societies. In addition, intercultural education provides a solution to the provision of education for all. Education to a student contributes to the full development as a person where they have respect for human rights and freedom for all cultures in the world.

Education is given the priority by ASPNET to promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all nations, racial and religious groups as well as maintaining peace among communities. UNESCO has a mission of guiding education policy worldwide where primary education shall be universal by 2015. ASPNET promotes the existence of democratic societies where equity in public and social life is taken seriously16.

Schools aim at educating citizens by the use of intercultural dialogue where people are tolerant of each other’s way of being and thinking. The education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are undertaken by ASPNET is committed to controlling the problems that come with a wide diffusion of culture. The network develops a means by which communities address each other through good communication strategies for mutual understanding and knowledge of each other’s lives.

Importance of Intercultural learning

UNESCO initiated the Rabat commitment which was formed after the Rabat conference to address issues that exist among cultures. The paper gives clear guidelines on intercultural education building. UNESCO launched the Rabat commitment which would synthesize the central issues that surround intercultural education. UNESCO views the commitment as presenting important guiding principles for an intercultural approach to education17.

Intercultural learning, Education and Multiculturalism

Intercultural learning in schools is important since students are taught the relationship between intercultural learning and other subjects. The culture of a particular community defines the way things are done in that society.

When addressing intercultural learning in schools, teachers must recognize that culture is related to various aspects of society. Culture is a way in which a certain community chooses to live and recognize one another. It comprises lifestyles, the way people live together, value systems, traditions and beliefs. Intercultural learning helps the reconciliation of group identities within a framework of social cohesion. Intercultural learning helps people to understand the way other communities believe, think, feel and act in society18.

Intercultural learning helps people to understand the relationship between culture and education. Education frames the culture of people in the sense that, it defines the way communities think and act, beliefs and feelings. Teachers, learners, and community members exchange their cultural perspectives in the way they are taught and conveyed. Students can understand that language forms an important role in the expression of culture from one community to the other. Intercultural learning makes people understand that language is the heart of identity, memory and transmission of knowledge.

Students learn about other religions that exist in other communities through intercultural learning19. Various cultures relate to evolving relations between cultural groups. Through intercultural education, students learn how different cultures achieve a developing and sustainable way of living. Communities can live together in multicultural societies through the creation of an understanding of, respect for, and dialogue between the different cultural groups. Intercultural learning helps students to learn about other languages, histories and cultures of non-dominant groups in the society.

Intercultural learning and dialogue

UNESCO encourages people from different communities to use intercultural dialogue as a way of exchanging ideas between communities. ASPNET uses dialogue as one of how students are taught to live together. Students can recognize the difference and multiplicity of cultures that exist in the world. Intercultural dialogue enables students to understand the existence of different opinions, views, and values of different cultures.20

Intercultural dialogue promotes intercultural learning since it seeks to explain the multiple views that are held by people in society. Students are taught to understand the need of interacting with other cultures and learn how different cultures view the world. Through intercultural dialogue, students are enriched by having an open interaction and are encouraged to share ideas and explore the different ways in which different cultures view and understand certain things.

Students are able to identify the boundaries that define different cultures where many people are encountering cultural differences. Intercultural dialogue is a vital skill that encourages students to enter into a respectful and tolerant dialogue where they are able to solve problems and live together peacefully. Students extent this dialogue to other countries and advice other nations, communities and individuals on the importance of entering into an intercultural dialogue.

Intercultural dialogue gives room for the divergence of opinion from different cultures, the respect of diversity, and mutual understanding of one another. Intercultural dialogue is a concept that advances intercultural learning and is based on the recognition of human dignity, thinking and democracy21. In intercultural dialogue, people consider humanity as a central point in their discussion. Through this, people will be able to respect the thoughts and ideas raised by others from different cultures. Intercultural dialogue enhances understanding among communities where they enjoy different potential capabilities and talents that harmonize one another.

Through intercultural dialogue, communities are able to put away the non-scientific, unethical and illogical feelings of bias. This educates students as well as teachers on ways on functioning effectively and harmoniously in a multicultural society. Interactions that take place in intercultural dialogue enable people to explore a better understanding of other communities in the world. ASPNET schools hold conferences, seminars and meetings with experts who guide the grounds for positive and constructive approaches that can achieve a better society22.

ASPNET schools hold intercultural dialogues through music, art, architecture, religious studies, humanities, linguistics, cultural traveling, scientific visits and cultural weeks in the regions. Through these functions, students, parents, teachers, neighboring communities and people from other cultures meet and exchange a lot of information. This gives students a better chance to learn what happens with other communities around them since the dialogues act as instruments for knowing and understanding one another.

Intercultural dialogues require students to coordinates all sectors of the society regional, national and international levels. Intercultural learning removes the shortcomings that exist from other cultures and is enhanced through the process of intercultural dialogue. The involvement in intercultural dialogue identifies and utilizes cultural experiences where different cultures express their necessities and demands. Intercultural dialogue works to provide solutions to the problems that come with necessities and demands from different cultures. Intercultural learning calls for corporation among human beings and societies. Students from universities, education institutes and non-governmental organizations share their research, information and ideas by having an intercultural dialogue.

Intercultural dialogue recognizes the achievement for every culture in different disciplines such as education, culture, economy, social and politics. Students learn the achievements of the different cultures and that no culture can be regarded as inferior to the other. 23 Intercultural dialogue brings together students from different countries to share experiences, ideas and current research methods of the participating countries and societies.

Students are able to have joint intercultural exchanges on different subjects of culture and beliefs. ASPNET schools also establish studies all over the world in universities and higher education institutes that are familiar with the cultural customs, traditions, beliefs, languages and arts of other societies. UNESCO advocates for the necessity of having continuous dialogue and intercultural learning and education among cultures. Thus, students need to enter into communication with other languages and other methods of study and learning.

Through intercultural dialogue, students interact using ordinary languages and familiarize themselves with other cultures. Intercultural dialogue expands the corporation and involvement of people with respect for ideas of other cultures. It leads to manifestations of ideals and rights, the transmission of legal freedom and democracy among cultures24. Intercultural learning calls for all values of students and staff to be well known. It is evident that communication among communities is the best way for obtaining mutual understanding, resolving conflicts and pressures against peace and improving the exchange of ideas. It is important to realize that, without teaching intercultural education in schools, it is difficult to achieve the development of and growth of any culture in other countries.

ASPNET Schools promote tolerance and cooperation among the young and old since without tolerance to other cultures and cooperation, countries cannot achieve peace, development and progress. The behavior and teaching policies of teachers in schools play an important role in shaping the students’ personalities which in turn affects their thinking. How students have taught plays an important role when shaping their future. Intercultural education enables students to understand better the general values of human social living. It provides solutions to the anti-social activities that are present in the whole world25.


In conclusion, intercultural learning respects the cultural identity of students by providing culturally appropriate and responsive quality for all. This is achieved through incorporating the students’ history, knowledge and technologies, value systems and further social economic and cultural aspirations. Intercultural learning is aimed at developing respect for the learners, cultural identity, language and values. Teachers are expected to be familiarized with the cultural heritage of their country as well as practical, participatory and contextualized teaching methods. Intercultural learning advocates for imparting more awareness of the educational and cultural needs of minority groups. ASPNET is a project undertaken by UNESCO that provides learning environments that are respectful of cultural diversity.


Turkovich, M. “Educating for a Changing World: Challenging the Curriculum.” 1998, p.27-33.

Gay, G. ‘Principles and Paradigms of Multicultural Education.” 1998. p.17-20.

UNESCO. “Expert Meeting on Intercultural Education. UNESCO.” Paris. 2006. pp. 20-30.

UNESCO. “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.” 2005.

UNESCO Institute for Education. “Minorities and Adult Learning: Communication among majorities and minorities.” Confintea, Hamburg 1997. p. 9-10.


  1. UNESCO. “Expert Meeting on Intercultural Education. UNESCO.” Paris. 2002.
  2. Turkovich, M. “Educating for a Changing World: Challenging the Curriculum.” 1998, p. 28.
  3. G. Gay, ‘Principles and Paradigms of Multicultural Education.” 1998. p.17.
  4. Turkovich 29.
  5. Gay 20.
  6. Turkovich 27.
  7. UNESCO, 2005.
  8. UNESCO. “Expert Meeting on Intercultural Education. UNESCO.” Paris. 2006. pp. 20.
  9. UNESCO 2005.
  10. UNESCO 22.
  11. UNESCO 2005.
  12. UNESCO 26.
  13. Gay 19.
  14. UNESCO 24.
  15. Turkovich 30.
  16. Gay 29.
  17. UNESCO 2005.
  18. Turkovich 31.
  19. UNESCO 10.
  20. Turkovich 32.
  21. UNESCO, 2005.
  22. UNESCO 21.
  23. Turkovich 29.
  24. Gay, 18.
  25. UNESCO, 2005.
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