South Korea’s leading steelmaker Posco will join hands with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to support out-of-school teens in Southeast Asia.
The Korean company said on Wednesday its Posco 1% Foundation entered into a strategic partnership with UNESCO to provide education for out-of-school youth within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
Leaders from the 10 ASEAN member states joined by 18 other country presidents convened in September 2016 to endorse the Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth, an initiative to assist school-age children with no access to primary education.
Posco 1% Foundation is a non-profit organization financed by donations from Posco Group employees, who contribute 1 percent of their monthly income. This is UNESCO’s first collaboration with a corporation this year. Posco, one of Korea’s major conglomerates, owns businesses ranging from the country’s No.1 steel making business to construction, trading energy, chemical, ITC and service units.
The foundation will work in partnership with education ministries and local study centers in the region to provide alternative education to dispossessed youth and minority and migrant children. It also plans to help them enter the formal education system based on UNESCO’s flexible learning strategies, a set of alternative educational programs for the marginalized that are equivalent to existing formal and vocational education.
Posco intends to carry out the project over the next three years. Its first country would be Thailand, which has the highest ratio of out-of-school teens in the region at 7.6 percent. After assisting 2,000 Thai youth, it expects to span out to other countries, including Indonesia and Myanmar.
By Woo Je-yoon and Kim Hyo-jin
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