Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in Formal Education in Asia and the Pacific

Dates of implementation
01/09/2020 - 31/12/2021
Cambodia, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Thailand
UNESCO Bangkok Office together with UNESCO Offices in Phnom Penh, Almaty and Kathmandu.


  • Adapt resource materials/guidelines to strengthen the integration of ICH in primary and secondary schools.
  • Develop capacity in selected Asia Pacific countries to strengthen the integration of ICH in schools.
  • Broadly disseminate a wide selection of good ICH-linked educational practices through existing knowledge-sharing platforms.

This project was built upon the ongoing efforts led by UNESCO Bangkok in the Asia and the Pacific region, taking into account findings from the regional survey carried out by UNESCO on the use of ICH in primary and secondary schools in the region. The main motive was to generate knowledge, methods and tools that countries require, to support the transmission of intangible cultural heritage through education and thereby improve the educational quality and its relevance. Additionally, it built capacities among teachers and generated broader awareness among a wide group of concerned stakeholders, with a view to create an enabling environment for the wide application of these approaches at the regional level.

The project aimed to raise awareness about the importance of living heritage in school contexts to engage countries in the Asia-Pacific region to safeguard it while fostering mutual understanding and global citizenship. It was implemented by the UNESCO Bangkok Office through collaboration with culture and education sectors in the Almaty, Kathmandu and Phnom Penh Offices, with each bringing their corresponding expertise and know-how. It was technically supported by the Living Heritage Entity at UNESCO Headquarters.

Capacity-building and pilot projects

The programme implementation strategy was to take a two-pronged approach – developing materials that are applicable at the regional level, and deepening the implementation through pilot projects in several countries. At the regional level, capacity-building materials were developed, factoring in experiences that UNESCO gained through similar processes and adapting them to the Asia-Pacific region.

The main training of trainers workshop was organized online jointly by UNESCO Bangkok and ICHCAP from 27 to 30 October 2020 and on 23 November 2020. This training aimed at preparing teams in six countries to implement pilot projects on teaching with and about ICH in schools. The workshop introduced the project and several tools and guided the preparation phase of the in-country pilot activities. Participants included all selected trainers, UNESCO field office staff from the culture and education sectors, project managers and observers from ICHCAP, APCEIU and Uganda.

At the country level, the implementation of pilot projects on teaching with and about ICH was done in schools in six countries: Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Republic of Korea and Thailand.

Online learning tools

These materials included virtual learning in the shape of animated videos developed in 6 languages. This allowed allowed for wider dissemination across the region with teachers, education managers and communities.

Project Outputs

  • Reinforced capacities of trainers in the region through workshops.
  • ICH integrated into school settings through pilot activities in schools in 6 countries with teachers, students and heritage bearers, including accompanying lesson plans.
  • Animated videos series in English, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Thai and Nepali.

The content of the projects and documents referenced in this platform do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO, including designations employed concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.