July 28, 2021

Kilkenny woman first Irish person elected to UNESCO global committee

A Kilkenny woman has become the first Irish person to take a seat on a UNESCO global committee.

Dr Geraldine Cleere, lecturer in Law and Criminal Justice at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), has been appointed to the Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Chair of Applied Research for Education in Prisons.

The committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Chair of Applied Research for Education in Prisons and consists of distinguished researchers in the field of adult and prison education from around the world.

Dr Cleere, a Kilkenny native, is also the programme leader for the BA (Hons) in Criminal Justice Studies at WIT. Her primary research focus is the prison. Dr Cleere’s research on the role of prison education in desistance from crime ultimately led to her being appointed to the prestigious position.

The UNESCO Chair of Applied Research for Education in Prisons is an outcome of the Dakar Framework, which was adopted in Senegal in 2000. This framework upholds the principle of ‘Education for All’, affirming that education is a universal right for all humans and is an essential tool for social development.

Speaking after being bestowed the honour, Dr Cleere said: “As an educator I understand the value and power of education in enhancing a person’s life.

“We often mistakenly refer to education in the purely academic sense, yet the power of education spans far beyond career outcomes.

“Our capacity to thrive in both the personal and social sense, to exercise our citizenship and create legitimate opportunities in life is inextricably connected to a broad academic, moral, social, cultural and spiritual education,” Dr Cleere added.



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