UNESCO inks agreement with MOST to emerge world’s first training centre under the auspices of UNESCO in Astronomy in Thailand

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August 29, 2017

Santi Maitree Building,

Government House,

Bangkok Thailand

Today, Royal Thai Government by the Ministry of Science and Technology sheds the limelight on one of the most awe-inspiring projects in astronomy ever known to Thailand – International Training Centre in Astronomy under the auspices of UNESCO (ITCA). ITCA is the first Category II centre under the auspices of UNESCO that specializes in astronomy, also marking its first-ever Category II centre in Thailand. 

 

The agreement signing ceremony is held at the Government House as Director-General of UNESCO, Madame Irina Bokova and Minister of Science and Technology, H.E. Dr. Achaka Sriboonreung are signatories.  They are also joined by H. E. Dr. Teerakiat Jaroensettasin, Minister of Education as an hounourable witness. 

 

 

This is the third visit of the Director-General of UNESCO to Thailand as part of her expedition to preside over the “Cracking the Code: Girls’ Education in STEM International Symposium and Policy Forum” and to pay a courtesy call to the Thai Premier, Gen.Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok during August 28-29, 2017.  

 

 

In her congratulatory speech, the Director-General praises ITCA for its daring spirit to push the boundaries in astronomy education by pioneering the first-ever centre under the auspices of UNESCO in Astronomy. The effort has highlighted the importance of astronomy as a vessel in bridging the gap in education especially for those who are the most vulnerable and marginalised. As the oldest science the world has ever known, astronomy never stops marvelling young children to keep discovering by looking upon the cosmos and wonder what it takes to reach the universe. Astronomy plays an important role in answering this question, prompting them with choices and opportunities in education and future career. She also stresses the inititatives UNESCO has taken in the past, such as the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA 2009) – a year-long celebration of astronomy to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilei and the International Year of Light 2015 (IYL 2015), aiming to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications and its importance to humankind. Both events amassed public attention and awareness towards astronomy tremendously. 

 

 

“ITCA is hosted by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or NARIT in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It has emerged out of the keen interest of the Royal Thai Government since the very start. Combined with the recent endorsement of ITCA in November 2015 during the 38th UNESCO Genernal Conference in Paris, ITCA is committed to take new initiatives that achieve to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030” remarks Dr. Saran Posyachinda, NARIT Executive Director.

 

 

The NARIT Executive also adds that ITCA is the centre that aims to garner and incubate the knowledge of astronomy and related sciences with strong commitment in building the better world with the use of astronomy as a mechasim for Technology Transfer and Capacity Building. ITCA’s main tasks shall revolve around schools and trainings that arise out of the concept of ‘Astronomy for All’ – from astronomy for the very young age to early career astronomers or even astronomy for science teachers that seek the platform of tailored astronomy education. 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more information on ITCA’s schools and tranings at 

www.narit.or.th/itca and www.facebook.com/ITCAUNESCO