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CONFINTEA VI Mid-Term Review 2017 - The status of adult learning and education in Asia and the Pacific - regional report

  • October 2017

Asia and the Pacific: A new agenda for ALE based on the gains made in recent decades

The CONFINTEA VI Mid-Term Review in Suwon, Republic of Korea, in October 2017, took stock of the progress made by Member States over the past eight years, and looked ahead to the fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE IV), which will be published in 2019. The report on Asia and the Pacific (AP), one of five produced for the Mid-Term Review in cooperation with the International Council of Adult Education (ICAE), examines the advancement of adult learning and education (ALE) in the region. It also looks at how key policy agreements and frameworks have contributed to this progress, and provides recommendations in advance of CONFINTEA VII in 2021.

The Asia-Pacific region has more than half of the world’s population – and 456 million of the 758 million adult illiterates in the world. Global trends affecting ALE (e.g. ageing, migration, inequalities, etc) are explicitly visible across the region, influencing and shaping formal and non-formal education, related contents and processes, and shifting the focus to the education needs of youth and the working-age population.

On a positive note, the AP region has witnessed a substantial reduction in the number of females who are illiterate. Non-institutional and non-formal education and the advancement of internet and communication technologies has also led to greater access to learning and self-development. Progress towards gender parity is quite different among the sub-regions, especially in South and West Asia. 

ALE is at a critical juncture as countries embark on realigning their education policies and programmes with the long-term, global sustainable development goals. ALE has to consolidate the gains made in recent decades and envision a new agenda for ALE that is more holistic and built on the three overlapping principles of lifelong learning, global citizenship and sustainable development, which form the cornerstones for education development of the future. Youth and adult learning and education have to go beyond employability and foster the values of active citizenship, strengthen personal growth and secure social inclusion. They also have to imbibe values that underscore the inevitability of interdependence and collaboration, concern for environmental sustainability, and a world of increased diversity and inequality.

The report underlines the need for a more complex and integrated approach in ALE planning and implementation and gives several recommendations for the five areas of action identified by the Belém Framework for Action and the 2015 Recommendations on Adult Learning and Education, i.e. policy; governance; financing; participation, inclusion and equity; and quality, together with enhanced regional and international cooperation. Like all regional reports, it includes a variety of examples of good practice in relation to all these areas.


CONFINTEA VI Mid-Term Review 2017 - The status of adult learning and education in Asia and the Pacific - regional report

  • Author/Editor: Rangachar Govinda
  • CONFINTEA VI Mid-Term Review 2017 - The status of adult learning and education in Asia and the Pacific - regional report
  • UIL, 2017
  • ISBN
  • Available in: English