UNICEF Representative to Malaysia Lectures at Soka Gakkai Malaysia Headquarters
On September 6, 2008, Youssouf Oomar, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative to Malaysia lectured at the Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) Grand Culture Center in Kuala Lumpur. Titled "Quality Education for All," Mr. Oomar's talk focused on the importance of treating each child as a human being in totality, endowed with the right to quality education. Recognizing children's rights is the starting point to fostering them into adulthood and becoming catalysts for positive change.
According to the UNICEF representative, quality education includes more than good teachers and solid infrastructure. A school should be a safe and nurturing environment where children are empowered to express themselves while learning about life, sharing with others and contributing to society. Moreover, quality education should promote nonviolence, be attuned to the times and trends, as well as fostering composure and rational thinking. Mr. Oomar advocated a partnership approach among the various sectors of society--parents, teachers, neighbors, governmental agencies and academic institutions--to ensure the protection and education of children.
UNICEF is mandated by the UN General Assembly to protect children's rights, to assist them in meeting their basic needs and to expand opportunities for them to develop their full potential.
Among the guests attending the lecture were representatives from the Cuban and Azerbaijani embassies, as well as the Australian High Commission.
[Adapted from an article in the November 2008 issue of Cosmic, Soka Gakkai Malaysia]