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Slovenia hosted second UNESCO World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress

On 18-20 September 2017 Slovenia hosted second UNESCO World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress. The congress was organized by UNESCO and the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. 500 people from 107 countries were attending the congress, including 15 ministers.

Slovenian Minister of Education, Science and Sport Maja Makovec Brenčič said that Slovenia was a strong advocate of publicly accessible and high-quality education. »Bringing together OER will help to create inclusive, equitable and quality education, flexible and dynamic  enough to be spread around the world,« said minister Maja Makovec Brenčič at the opening of the congress. According to minister, education is the highest value of UNESCO and of all of us, who believe in knowledge. She emphasized positioning of Slovenia as a reference country in the OER field.  »We see OER as the driver of digital transformation of education,« she added.

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics said that inclusion was the key word. "This is the most urgent challenge we face, also from the educational point of view." He said it was essential that people from the outskirts, periphery and rural areas have access to OER. He believes education that promotes common values will build cohesive societies. In terms of open access, Slovenia is an example to follow. He too pointed out that OER must be available in different languages, reflect the cultural diversity of their users. The commissioner said that OER must be developed in a sustainable way, that there should be balance between the interest of users and publishers.

On the final day of the congress participants adopted Ljubljana OER Action Plan 2017, which is based on the outputs of the Regional Consultations, a global  online consultation of the document in the months leading up to the Congress, and the deliberations of the 2nd World OER Congress. This Action Plan identifies concrete actions to mainstream OER to achieve 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda goal on Quality Education.

Participating ministers also adopted a statement, in which they reaffirm the commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which contains goals on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG4). They recognize that in order for OER to reach its full transformative potential for supporting the realization of SDG 4, OER needs to be more integrally a part of educational policies and practices from early childhood education to post-secondary, technical vocational educational training, higher education, lifelong learning and teacher training.