Intangible Cultural Heritage and Education: Critical Examination of the Education in Periodic Reports


MILLI FOLKLOR, no.120, pp.59-72, 2018 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.59-72
  • Keywords: Intangible cultural heritage, education, periodic report
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


States Parties to the 2003 Convention reflect on their activities and legal measures on safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in periodic reports that are submitted every six years. These reports contain information on inventories, international and regional cooperation, authorized institutions, current status of the elements inscribed on the lists and also educational measures taken to safeguard the heritage. As there are currently 178 States Parties to the Convention and moreover the Convention represents a 15-year international accumulation on the matter, it is important to analyze Convention's education perspective critically. Therefore in this study, reflections of educational activities in the reports are interpreted on the basis of periodic reports, text of the Convention, Operational Directives and decisions of Intergovernmental Committee, also drawing attention to good educational practices and besides to differences between UNESCO's electoral groups. The reason for locating the periodic reports in the heart of the analysis is their inclusion of detailed explanations and examples by States Parties and thus enabling to learn the national contributions to the Convention's goals. It is known that UNESCO put emphasis on education in recent years and as a consequence of this, educational activities between the period 2018-2021 will be supported as a funding priority by UNESCO. However, when the periodic reports of the period 2011-2017 are examined, it is observed that educational agenda and work of States Parties can't meet the expectations of the Convention, courses in formal education haven't been designed with a particular attention oriented at the 2003 Convention and informal transmission of the knowledge reflects the expectations. At this point, it appears that the States Parties present a view that is "blended with the expectations of UNESCO" and not "the real situation". So that it gets even difficult to have good inferences out of the periodic reports. Moreover, the fact that formal education appears under the same heading with awareness raising and information programs in reports, may cause activities on formal education pass unnoticed among other public awareness raising activities such as exhibitions, fairs, celebration and commemoration weeks. Else, because of this, inadequacies of some States Parties in formal education sometimes may stay in the background. While the awareness raising and informing function of formal education it is acknowledged, it may be of better use to include formal education under a separate heading. In addition to these problems, it is seen that the States Parties don't include educational measures in the section covering information on the current status of the elements on the list. And so that, what is done for the integration of inscribed elements in education sector keeps dark. A contribution to this problem may be that education as a criteria is included in a follow-up mechanism which might be established for the safeguarding of inscribed elements. It is also seen that, capacity building activities covered in these reports address researchers, experts and managers but not teachers. While this is significant to raise the number of researches and strengthen cultural heritage administration, an imbalance to teachers' disadvantage may arise. Therefore the inclusion of teachers in target group of capacity building activities may help get efficiency in formal education.