UNESCO learning city status for Nilambur, Thrissur

They are among three Indian towns to join GNLC this year

September 07, 2022 07:27 pm | Updated September 08, 2022 10:31 am IST - MALAPPURAM

Nilambur and Thrissur have joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) by promoting lifelong learning among its people.

Nilambur, the land of teak, and Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala, have become the first Indian towns to attain the UNESCO recognition, along with Warangal in Telangana.

The three Indian towns were among the 77 new members from 44 countries to join the GNLC this year. The UNESCO GNLC is an international network consisting of cities that successfully promote lifelong learning across their communities. It has 294 cities in 76 countries that share inspiration, know-how and best practice among each other.

Delighted at the recognition, Nilambur municipal chairman Mattummal Saleem said a comprehensive programme would soon be chalked out with the objective of achieving lifelong learning and sustainable development of the region within four years.

Mr. Saleem said the UNESCO learning city status would ensure education for everyone in the chosen cities. “This project primarily aims at converting the people into lifelong learners,” he said. Different schemes would be drawn to provide continuing education in various fields, he said.

According to UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, the newly admitted UNESCO learning cities, including Nilambur, Thrissur and Warangal, have a wealth of expertise and commitment in ensuring that the right to education becomes a reality for people of all ages. “With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities have the power to drive lifelong learning policies by implementing and supporting local initiatives and bring bottom-up change,” Ms. Azoulay said.

Nilambur, Thrissur and Warangal were nominated by the National Commission for UNESCO and recommended by a jury of experts considering the city administration’s commitment to lifelong learning and its track record of good practices and policy initiatives.

The geographic location of Nilambur with its ‘cruising town’ status and its potentials in agriculture and tourism helped Nilambur attain the UNESCO recognition. “The UNESCO tag has the potential to bring about a sea change not only in education, but also in agriculture and tourism areas,” said V. Ummer Koya, director, Jan Sikshan Sansthan (JSS), at Nilambur.

Headed by P.V. Abdul Wahab, MP, the JSS has been instrumental in bringing global recognition to the land of teak. The JSS will coordinate the GNLC programme at Nilambur. “We are going to prepare a master plan for the development of the municipality,” Mr. Wahab said.

Cities with a population of five lakh and above were usually considered by the UNESCO for GNLC status. Nilambur has been the first town to be included in the GNLC with less than one lakh population.

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