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Cluster 3
Capacity-building in and for lifelong learning

With its experience acquired over fifty years, the UNESCO Institute for Education pursues activities throughout the
world aimed at building and strengthening educational capacities of Member States through training and institutional development. In offering its assistance to those countries requesting its support in solving problems in the wider
context of lifelong learning, the Institute has always been attuned to satisfying local needs and demands. Prime examples of this are UIE’s interventions in so-called ‘emergency situations’ in areas of conflict such as Afghanistan and Kosovo, assisting victims of violent social conflicts with their disruption of fundamental educational structures. Another activity of the Institute geared to national capacity-building in different regions of the world relates to the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Cluster 3 brings together those endeavors in which UIE provides empowering and preventive educational strategies and develops supportive teaching materials. The most important activities within this group of programs involve interventions for literacy and post-literacy promoting portable skills, democratic and social competencies and attitudes, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Activities

Capacity-Building for Literacy and Adult Learning in Kosovo
Empowering Educational Strategies in AIDS/HIV Prevention
Development of a Textbook Series on African Perspectives on Adult Learning
International E-Learning for Literacy
Capacity-Building in Literacy and EFA in Afghanistan
Development of an Adult Basic Education Programme (ABEP) in Botswana
European Regional Meeting in Lyon: Literacy and the Promotion of Citizenship
Family Literacy
Capacity-building for Community-based Literacy and Life Skills Education Programmes for Disadvantaged Young Adults (CABLE4Y Project)
Strengthening NFE and Literacy Policies Through a Gender-equality Perspective

Capacity-Building for Literacy and Adult Learning in Kosovo

In Kosovo the Institute continues to provide technical support to the Women’s Literacy Programme, which is implementing basic education in 130 rural areas for about 2,250 adult learners. This is taking place within a network of 21 local women’s NGOs. After the conflicts of the 1990s it became of utmost importance in Kosovo to tackle the problem of female illiteracy (estimated to be above 20% in rural areas) and to construct an adult-learning system catering first of all to those who could not finish basic education. At the same time, it is necessary to build capacities within the Kosovar Ministry of Education for developing an adult-learning and training system in line with the European movement towards a coherent lifelong learning strategy. Since 2001, UIE has worked with UNICEF to support the development of a curriculum and textbooks as well as to organize courses for literacy trainers, monitors and facilitators in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. A national qualification framework and corresponding instruments of assessment and accreditation are currently under deliberation following a series of workshops organized since October 2004.

In 2005 UIE’s activities in Kosovo continued in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. They are two-fold: following up on the Women’s Adult Basic Education Programme, which is now co-funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and helping to build institutional capacities for adult and lifelong learning systems. The proposed activities, which are co-ordinated closely with UNICEF and the German IIZ-DVV in Kosovo, include: final edition of a level IV textbook, training of a national monitoring and training team, designing of the final evaluation process, including the methodology and instruments for learners’ assessment; following up on the creation of accreditation procedures within the broader structure of a National Qualifications Framework; developing standards for establishing equivalencies for adult basic education programmes; discussing an adult basic education and training programme for different target groups that is equivalent to nine years of primary education; promoting sustainable and effective partnerships towards the creation of an integrated Adult Basic Education and Lifelong Learning System in Kosovo; and upgrading the expertise on these topics within the Ministry of Education.

Contact: Ulrike Hanemann


Empowering Educational Strategies in AIDS/HIV Prevention

UIE's six-year project on capacity-building in effective HIV/AIDS prevention will conclude its third and final cycle in 2005. Based on the experiences and findings of previous phases, activities in the next period will focus on four aspects: 1) creating synergies through support of regional cooperation in HIV/AIDS prevention with a focus on dissemination of empowering learning strategies, 2) adapting empowering learning strategies in other regions (e.g., francophone Africa), 3) strengthening collaboration with respective regional and inter-regional networks (e.g., ASPBAE, ADEA Working Group on NFE), 4) identifying appropriate support structures for effective prevention work.

In co-operation with the ADEA Working Group on NFE, a regional seminar for Africa is planned for December in Uganda. Two publications are expected to come out of this project, an advocacy document containing the main results of the International Seminar in Chiangmai in 2004 and a conference report on the results of the Uganda Meeting.

Contact: Carolyn Medel-Añonuevo, Werner Mauch


Development of a Textbook Series on African Perspectives on Adult Learning

A new textbook series entitled African Perspectives on Adult Learning is being co-published by UIE and Pearson Education South Africa in collaboration with the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (IIZ/DVV) and the Department of Adult Education, University of Botswana. This innovative publishing project, designed with the advice of an international editorial board chaired by the Director of UIE, aims to provide trainers of adult educators in Africa with textbooks more appropriate to the African context than those currently available. The first five titles in this series being produced by teams of African researchers include: Foundations of Adult Education in Africa; The Psychology of Adult Learning in Africa; Developing Programmes for Adult Learners in Africa; Research Methods for Adult Educators in Africa; and The Social Contexts of Adult Learning in Africa.

In April 2005, the series launched its first volumes in a special event in Cape Town. The book launch, featuring as keynote speaker the South African Minister of Education, was coupled with an international conference held by the IIV/DVV on “The Training of Adult Educators in Africa and Asia/Pacific: Present Situation and Recommendations for the Future”. On the heels of this meeting, the Editorial Board continued its initial steps towards determining the aims and scope of a first generation of books designed for universities in francophone Africa by expanding its membership accordingly. In May/June 2005, a Writers’ Workshop was held in Cape Town for the author teams of the two new books in Phase Two of the series to address The Management of Adult Education in Africa and The History of Adult Education in Africa. The scholars composing the latter book will be working together at UIE in the fall as Fellows of the Institute.

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Contact: Orrin F. Summerell


International E-Learning for Literacy

The 'International “E-Learning for Literacy” project of the UNESCO Institute for Education (UIE) is designed to build capacity and widen the pool of NFE providers at all levels in the field of adult basic education and literacy. It informs about international experiences and strategies by drawing on the institutes’ rich collection of data from around the world.

The E-learning for Literacy project has two components:

(1) The website Literacy Exchange: World Resources on Literacy presents case studies of 15 countries in a comparative manner (Brazil, Germany, India, Jamaica, Kosovo, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Oman, Spain, South Africa, Somalia, Syria, Tanzania and Tunisia);

(2) The e-learning course Literacy and Basic Adult Learning targets educators and practitioners who seek a comprehensive introduction to the preparation of non-formal programmes and projects for adult basic education and learning with a special emphasis on literacy. The weekly workload of 6 hours allows for in-service training.
The course aims at

  • Diversifying the knowledge of educators and practitioners with respect to concepts and practices that underlie literacy programmes around the world;
  • Providing access to a rich documentation and publication resource;
  • Facilitating exchange among learners with different backgrounds and experiences.

In terms of methodology, a programmed instruction approach with interactive self-assessment was chosen to support autonomous learning. This approach is combined with collaborative learning activities. The curriculum emphasises practice-orientation and exchange of experiences among the learners and takes different learning styles into account.

Training institutions can obtain a free license from UIE in order to use it for training on a non-profit basis.


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Contact: Christine Glanz


Capacity-Building in Literacy and EFA in Afghanistan

Afghanistan faces massive problems with its educational system after 25 years of conflict and wars. As a consequence of the Taliban regime’s oppressive policies for girls’ and women’s education, high illiteracy levels for these groups continue to be one of the key obstacles to their full participation in society. In collaboration with UNICEF, the Institute has provided technical assistance to the Department of Non-formal Education of the Afghan Education Ministry since 2002. Two textbooks for women and facilitators’ manuals have been developed in the Dari and Pashto languages, followed by the proposal of a capacity-building project employing innovative approaches. The present security situation has prevented the Institute from strengthening the training and monitoring system and implementing a pilot project to field-test the learning materials with a community-based family literacy approach focusing on girls and women.

UIE is prepared to follow up on the technical services to the Afghan education sector in the field of literacy and non-formal education as soon as the Afghan Ministry of Education, UNESCO Field Office and UNESCO ED/EPS/SPP have agreed upon the framework and an action plan. UNICEF Afghanistan has also announced plans to continue with women’s literacy and to ask UIE to provide technical support to field-test the literacy textbooks and teachers’ manuals developed in 2002/2003 and approved by the Afghan authorities, to train teachers, and to strengthen the institutional capacities of the Afghan Ministry for promoting literacy.

Contact: Ulrike Hanemann


Development of an Adult Basic Education Programme (ABEP) in Botswana

UIE won a tender of the Botswana Ministry of Education to develop a new framework and outcome-based modular curriculum for adult basic education which includes the development of learning material, a built-in monitoring and evaluation system with equivalency compatible with a national qualification framework, and training and capacity-building of a local team.

In 2005, UIE will facilitate the development of an overall strategic plan and the curriculum framework. A kick-off workshop was held in February in Gaborone with the core expert team and the national reference committee to review and discuss the task and to outline the way forward. Together with the core team, which at a later stage will be aided by specialized sub-teams, UIE will work on the different components and content units of the modular curriculum. Taking stock of existing materials and expertise and involving all the relevant stakeholders define the initial activities. The discussion of the curriculum framework started already with a national stakeholders’ meeting and intensive workshops in May and August. This framework, which will be presented to the Reference Committee in October, provides the roadmap for the remaining work, which will be concluded at the end of 2007.

Contact: Ulrike Hanemann, Anna Barkered


European Regional Meeting in Lyon: Literacy and the Promotion of Citizenship

A Pan-European Conference on Literacy was held in Lyon, France in April 2005 jointly organized with the French Agence Nationale de Lutte contre l'Illettrisme (ANCLI - Agency for the Struggle against Illiteracy), France’s National Commission for UNESCO, the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and the European Union Grundtvig Programme. Funded by the EU, this first-ever regional meeting on literacy in Europe brought together 150 policy-makers, research institutes, universities, public and private providers of literacy, and other stakeholders from 38 countries to discuss literacy in the region. The objectives of the regional meeting were:

  • to analyze trends on literacy in the region
  • to determine the status of countries vis-à-vis EFA goals on literacy
  • to highlight good practices that could be used to improve literacy programmes
  • to identify possible areas of collaboration and develop corresponding action plans


Two publications are resulting from this regional meeting: an advocacy document in four languages and a report of the meeting containing the major papers (in English). The English version of the advocacy document, "Why Literacy in Europe?", is now available in a print version as well as on UIE's website (click here). 

Contact: Carolyn Medel-Añonuevo


Family Literacy

Several studies have revealed the strong correlation between the social background and the educational progress of children. Family literacy represents an intergenerational and community learning approach – linking elements of adult education, parents’ education and primary education – to enhance the literacy of both adults and children and support teachers and parents in preventing future drop-out. In cooperation with the Institute for Teacher Training and Curriculum Development of the City-State of Hamburg, this project started in the summer of 2004 with eight schools and two kindergartens in socially disadvantaged districts of Hamburg. It focuses on five-year-old pre-school children and six-year-old first- grade children and their parents. Working sessions are being held with parents and their children aimed at encouraging and enabling parents to help their children acquire literacy skills. Prior to the start of the project, a survey was conducted to clarify the needs of the target group. Supported by the "Bund-Länder-Commission for Educational Planning and Research Promotion" for a period of five years, this project will be monitored and evaluated by the Department of Quality Development of the Institute for Teacher Training and Curriculum Development in cooperation with UIE. It is expected that this pilot will lead to the development of teacher-training modules and materials enhancing the qualification of teachers and educators in the prevention of illiteracy. In the long term, the objective is to identify good practices and approaches in family literacy, promote their wider dissemination, and help countries to develop capacity-building programmes for policy-makers as well as educators and parents.

With the start of the 2005/2006 school term, the project will continue with last year’s group having now entered the first grade of the formal school system and at the same time with a new group of pre-school children. To extend the dimensions of the project on a European level, a proposal for a Grundtvig II "Learning Partnership" (including partners from Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, Malta and Turkey) has been submitted to the European Union. The project has been approved and will begin in autumn 2005.

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Contact: Maren Elfert


Capacity-building for Community-based Literacy and Life Skills Education Programmes for Disadvantaged Young Adults (CABLE4Y Project)

Aiming to improve the quality of community-based literacy and life skills education programmes, UIE is working with on-going NFE programmes targeting youth in six countries, namely Bangladesh, China, Lao PDR, Mali, Niger and Zambia. The national project teams set up in 2004 will continue the development of training materials and test them in the first half of 2005. UIE, in collaboration with UNESCO field offices, is providing technical and financial support to each country to finalise the training materials and organise in-country training activities in the second half of 2005. The question asked throughout this project is how to build the capacities of facilitators to design locally relevant learning opportunities for out-of-school youth in rural areas.

To build the capacities of the national project teams, UIE is organising inter-regional activities.  A mid-term review workshop was organised in Baoding and Beijing, China for June 2005 to exchange experiences on addressing life skills learning in non-formal education, to peer-review the materials, and to plan exchange study visits. This workshop was co-organised with the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Education for All (APPEAL) which is running a life skills project for community learning centres in six countries in Asia. In October 2005, study visits to an ABET (adult basic education and training) programme in South Africa to observe good practices of community-based programmes and training activities will take place.

Contact: Rika Yorozu


Strengthening NFE and Literacy Policies Through a Gender-equality Perspective

Continuing its programme on Engendering Research in Non-formal Education and Literacy, the Institute, in collaboration with the ADEA Working Group on NFE, the UNESCO Offices in Bamako and Senegal, and ERNWACA (the Education Research Network for West and Central Africa) organized a capacity-building workshop in Bamako, Mali for September 2005. Participants from government, NGOs and research groups were invited from Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

The objectives of this workshop were: 1) to enhance the capacity of participants to articulate the relationship of gender, literacy and other socio-economic variables; 2) to integrate a gender perspective into the study of literacy policies, plans and practices; and 3) to develop guidelines for the strengthening of literacy policies, plans and practices from a gender perspective.

Contact: Carolyn Medel-Añonuevo



 

         
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