His Excellency Ahmad Jalali
7 May 2002
Religion and the education of young people [91 kb, PDF]
This lecture focuses on education's role in instilling tolerance and appreciation of differences, and its contribution towards the development of a global society. Education should also help the individual to develop a sense of place and community grounded in the local, but embracing the whole world. “Today schools are expected to instil values as well as provide knowledge.”
This focus takes place through the discussion of religion and its importance in education. “How can we create an atmosphere of dialogue among different religions with the aim of codifying the common core between them to be introduced in our educational curriculum, thus providing a basis for the wider acceptance of diplomas in the eyes of different partners?” Many suggestions are given as to the different ways that religion can contribute to and be incorporated into a curriculum, and these provide the basis for further discussion.
In October 2001 Ahmad Jalali was elected President of the 31st General Conference of UNESCO. He is currently President of the General Assembly of the World Heritage Convention and has been a member of the Council of the United Nations University since 2001, while since 1997 he has served as Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Iran to UNESCO. His university studies have contained two main lines, namely mechanical engineering and philosophy, which he studied in Iran as well as at Oxford University.
He has held various diplomatic and university posts in Iran and other countries including Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN (1980–82) in Geneva, fellowships in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Manchester, UK (1990–91) and in the Oriental Institute, Oxford University (1992–94).
During recent years he has been very much involved in promoting dialogue among cultures and civilizations, a field in which he has published various articles.