An international conference of Pedagogical Universities in the South Caucasus region was held in Yerevan, Armenia, from 14 to 16 November 2001 under the aegis of UNESCO. The declaration on the outcomes of the conference reprinted below was drawn up by the par­ticipants. Information about the participants and the programme is available from the following e-mail address: mf.desprin@unesco.org.

Third International Meeting of the Network of Pedagogical Universities of the South Caucasus Region

(Yerevan, Armenia, 14-16 November, 2001)

We, participants of the Third International Meeting of the ‘Prometheus’ Pedagogical Universities Network of the South Caucasus held on 14-16 November in Yerevan, within the framework of the “UNESCO Caucasus” project, with participation of representatives of Ministries of Education, professional teaching staff and rectors of Pedagogical and Linguistic Universities of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, as well as representatives of international organizations and diplomatic missions, and non-governmental organizations, note with satisfaction the progress achieved in the course of cooperation between pedagogical institutions of higher education in the South Caucasus.

Azerbaijan University of Languages, Yerevan State Linguistic University and Tbilisi State Pedagogical University became the principa??†?æ?l institutions for the development of the Network .

The decisions taken in Tbilisi (June 2000) and in Baku (May 2001) have been largely implemented.

The exchange of curricula, direct contacts between heads of corresponding University departments, faculties and chairs are being developed. The results of the first Meeting have been summed up in a Bulletin issued in five languages; the second Bulletin is being prepared. The program of collaboration was outlined, in particular in civic education between ­UNESCO Chairs created in the above-mentioned Universities. The participants of the Meeting take note of the introduction of the course in Georgian Language at the Azerbaijan University of Languages and of the collaboration between the Armenian Language and Literature Chairs of Yerevan State Linguistic University and Tbilisi State Pedagogical University.

At the same time the participants of the Meeting would like to mention that the potential of cooperating institutions is not fully used. Hence the participants of the Meeting set the following tasks as priorities:

  • to set up joint working groups on issues of mutual interest, in particular on civic education, on the reforms of pedagogical ­education, on the development of educational standards and programmes, and on innovations in linguistic education
  • to organize joint conferences for students and lecturers, welcoming the involvement of young lecturers in joint activities
  • to publish a joint information Bulletin

The participants of the Meeting consider it important to educate the young generation in the spirit of respect for others, openness, tolerance, solidarity, mutual understanding and respect for human rights with due account given to the diversity of educational, legal, cultural and social contexts.

Participants of the Meeting from three states in the South Caucasus consider it necessary to intensify the integration of research activities within the process of developing Pedagogical Universities.

To achieve this goal it is recommended that steps be taken:

  • to foster the University departments’ scientific and experimental activities, the results of which may become the conceptual basis for the development of Pedagogical Universities in the nearest future with due respect for national principles and regional conditions, and providing for the opportunities of various forms of education.
  • to elaborate suggestions on the creation of integrative courses in Pedagogical Universities and the wide implementation of intradiscipline links and modern educational technologies.

Participants of the Meeting confirm the decisions of the previous Meetings, concerning particularly the establishment of regional distant education and a regular information exchange Network, and will make the necessary efforts for their implementation.

Participants of the Meeting spe??†?æ?cially emphasize the positive collaboration between South Caucasus higher educational institutions and UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other international organizations, and consider it necessary to activate their participation in the programmes on “Education For All”, civic education and educational reforms, in the spirit of tolerance, democracy and respect for human rights.

Participants of the Meeting suggest extending the term of Prof. Wachtang Sartania, Rector of Tbilisi State Pedagogical University, as the coordinator of the Network for another year.

Participants of the Meeting express deep gratitude to the Director-General of UNESCO for the support given to the Network of the Pedagogical Universities of the South Caucasus, and express their readiness to support to the noble mission of UNESCO in the course of developing cooperation between our countries.

Participants consider that such meetings make a significant contribution to the development of cooperation between our countries. Hence the fact of holding regular meetings of the kind acquires special interest and importance.

Highly valuing the results of three Meetings held in Baku, Tbilisi and Yerevan, the participants consider it advisable to examine jointly with the National Commissions for UNESCO of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan the possibility of holding the next regional conference of the Network on “Education and Intercultural Communication” in Tbilisi in 2002.

The participants of the Meeting express special gratitude to Yerevan State Linguistic University and UNE??†?æ?SCO for their support and successful holding of the conference.

The list of participants and the programme are available at: mf.desprin@unesco.org

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