16 June 2022

UNESCO Report: Adult Education does not Reach those Who Need it Most

International and Arabic

Paris, June 16 (QNA) - A new report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has confirmed that the main challenge to adult learning and education around the world is the lack of access to the most needy groups.
The main challenge for adult learning and education across the globe is to reach those who need it most. This is the key message of UNESCOs Fifth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 5) which will be published on June, 15 2022 at the 7th International Conference on Adult Education in Marrakesh, Morocco.
UNESCOs report shows that while there is progress, notably in the participation of women, those who need adult education the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as Indigenous learners, rural populations, migrants, older citizens, people with disabilities or prisoners are deprived of access to learning opportunities.
About 60% of countries reported no improvement in participation by people with disabilities, migrants or prisoners, 24% of countries reported that the participation of rural populations had declined and participation of older adults also decreased in 24% of the 159 surveyed countries.
GRALE 5 calls for a major change in Member States approach to adult learning and education backed by adequate investment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from adult learning and education.
"I urge governments and the international community to join our efforts and take action to ensure that the right to education is realized for everyone no matter their age, who they are, or where they live," said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
"Rapid technological and social changes as well as massive global challenges require that citizens have access to new learning throughout their lives. Reskilling and upskilling through adult learning and education must become routine. The ultimate twenty-first century skill is the ability to learn," she added.
In 23% of the 159 countries that submitted data for GRALE 5, fewer than 1% of youth and adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programmes. Sub-Saharan Africa led the field by a wide margin with 59% of countries reporting that at least one in five adults benefit from learning. This figure drops to only 16% of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and 25% in Europe. The high participation rate in Africa may be explained in part by a strong demand for adult literacy and second-chance education.
Responding to contemporary challenges, such as climate change and digitization, requires enlightened, trained and active citizens who value their common humanity and commitments to other organisms and to the planet as a whole, and citizenship education plays a key role in this endeavor, says UNESCO.
The 7th Seventh International Conference on Adult Education kicked off on Wednesday in Marrakesh, Morocco, where it will assess the achievements achieved in terms of adult learning, identifying challenges and developing a framework aimed at transforming adult learning and education into reality in all countries of the world. (QNA)


General, International
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