Community Schools: Intangible Cultural Heritage Collaborate with the Community

Kyrgyzstan [Central Asia strengthens intersectoral cooperation on living heritage and education] © UNESCO

The UNESCO Convention addresses: “Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills—that communities, groups and in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage” (Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003). As the world changes rapidly, sometimes I wonder what future schools will look like. There are various types of future schools and innovative schools, but the school to be introduced herein is ‘community schools.’ The ‘Future School Scenario’ published by the OECD in 2001 predicted that current schools and future schools will be different from each other. Future schools are expected to be the ‘status quo,’ ‘re-schooling,’ or ‘de-schooling,’ including the collapse of the school system, by adapting to bureaucratic systems and market economy models. One of them was to reconstitute school as a core social center (Scenarios for the Future of Schooling, 2001).

For example, the ‘community schools’ of the United States, which are expanding the boundaries of public education through cooperation from various human and material resources in schools and communities, are the closest type of ‘re-schooling institutions’ as ‘core social centers’ in the ‘Future School Scenario’ (Scenarios for the Future of Schooling, 2001). Core social centers can take a role as a bridge connecting ICH and the local community. Herein describes how community schools are operated, and what policies could lead those schools to collaborate with ICH.

Community schools are based on a model connecting home, school, and community. They are operated in a way that integrates local medical organizations, community activities, and leadership (Oakes, 2017). It is a characteristic of community schools that they actively introduce the necessary parts of education in terms of the heritage of the community to each region.

Example of Training Regarding ICH

For example, Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan work together to discuss the benefits and methods of integrating ICH in both formal and non-formal education programs. They share their experiences of technical education for ICH that was conducted in schools. Through this experience, they can make their communities better (Central Asia strengthens inter-sectoral cooperation on living heritage and education, 2019). Creating the environment and facilities necessary for education and operating programs for residents are leading to activities to change the community for better health.

In conclusion, the subject and method of operation vary from model to model of each community school. However, community schools in different regions are similar in terms of how they have achieved educational achievement regarding ICH through a connection between the school and the community.

The way of making ideal community schools is simple. If they complement the shortcomings, such as lack of a training system regarding ICH and build partnerships properly with the community, the community schools would create better outcomes. The link between school and community is a win-win strategy that can have a positive effect on each other. Additionally, it is beneficial for supporting local residents, specifically students who need training and education for identifying ICH. As societies become more sophisticated, new schools have emphasized not only the completion of a regular curriculum but also various educational roles. Linking with the community is an inevitable choice to carry out these roles.



“Central Asia Strengthens Intersectoral Cooperation on Living Heritage and Education.” UNESCO, 16 August 2019, Web 22 June. 2020

Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Web. 23 June. 2020

Oakes, J., Maier, A., & Daniel, J. (2017). Community Schools: An Evidence-Based Strategy for Equitable School Improvement. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [06 April. 2018] from

“Scenarios for the Future of Schooling.” – OECD. N.p., 2001. Web. 23 June. 2020.