On behalf of the ARNEC Board of Directors, the Steering Committee, its Secretariat staff and all ARNEC members, we would like to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to colleagues at UNESCO, particularly UNESCOs Asia and Pacific Bureau for Education in Bangkok, and to his family and friends after the passing of Dr. Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok.
Dr. Kim was a leading champion for Education and Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and a strong supporter of ARNEC. Under his stewardship ARNEC was able to grow our core partnership with UNESCO and work towards the objectives of advancing the agenda of ECD in the region. Our projects with UNESCO over the years both helped to reinforce political commitment for ECD in the regional and national development agendas and contributed to more comprehensive ECD policies and better ECD practice.
Gwang-Jo Kim’s humble, generous and humorous spirit is fondly remembered amongst all those who were his friends and colleagues.
We’d like to add a personal note from Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, Chair of ARNECs Board of Directors and Dr. Kim’s predecessor as Director of UNESCO Bangkok
“There are two kinds of ‘successors’ to a post — those who want to start completely afresh, ignoring or even obliterating the work of their predecessor, and those who are willing to learn from the past and then build on it, improve it, add to it, and then put their own distinctive stamp on it — and thus build their own legacy. GJ was one of the latter. Despite difficult times — among other things, the loss of posts and serious uncertainty over future funding — GJ maintained and even enhanced the performance and reputation of UNESCO Bangkok. And he did it in a unique manner — combining academic expertise called upon by universities, governments, and development agencies around the world and a down-to-earth personal style which endeared him to staff and friends alike. As someone who actually had the opportunity to retire — and then fail in it, as GJ so much wanted to do — I can only regret that his future contributions to education will now never be realised. And, although a cliché, these contributions will be sorely missed.”