talk about infrastructure, we tend to think of roads, railways, cables and
other physical networks crossing the landscape, enabling economic activity and
growth. But the term can be extended to other areas that provide people with
ways to achieve their goals, such as culture, research, and, of course,
looks at the last of these – the infrastructure for learning, throughout life.
In particular, it considers the role of libraries both as providers of support
and as partners and platforms for others, and looks at how to make the
most of the unique characteristics of libraries as public, non-commercial,
well-known and trusted community spaces. Continue reading →
To truly achieve sustainable development, writes Norman Jackson, we must embrace, consciously and fully, our experiences and what we learn and become through them.
Humankind has always engaged in lifelong learning, but it has
meant different things at different points in time. This will always be the case. In this period of rapid transformation, contemporary society obliges people to learn and to keep on
learning throughout their lives. The world is complex, hyper-connected and increasingly turbulent. It is also fragile, and cannot be sustained if we carry on using it in the way we have.
The idea that lifelong
learning can be harnessed in the service of preserving our presence on this fragile planet is gaining more traction among sustainability’s strategic planners. Remedies to the myriad
threats to our survival can be found in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education has its own goal – SDG 4 – which
calls on countries to ‘ensure
inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ (UN, 2015).SDG 4 advocates a new role for education: to educate the
world in ways that encourage behaviours that support
sustainable development. Continue reading →
The COVID-19 pandemic could come to be seen either as an important turning point for humanity or a huge missed opportunity, a landmark in the decline of human civilization. The choice, in the end, is ours, writes Paul Stanistreet.
As the 51st
World Economic Forum (WEF) meets virtually to discuss
rebuilding trust, making ‘crucial’ choices and reforming systems in the context
of the agenda WEF founder Klaus Schwab describes as the ‘great reset’, it is
clear that we are living through times of profound change and challenge, in some
respects unprecedented in human history.
And whether you
welcome this for reasons of social justice and the promotion of equity and
equality, or see as it a threat to entrenched systems of advantage that must be
carefully, and, if necessary, coercively, managed, it is clear that the
COVID-19 pandemic has created a rare moment in the human story when we have an
opportunity to read the map, change direction and do things differently. Continue reading →
de la COVID-19 a provoqué une crise sanitaire mondiale sans précédent accompagnée
de graves secousses socio-économiques. Plus que
jamais, l’éducation se retrouve au cœur de tout développement durable. La résilience
des systèmes éducatifs à travers le monde est attendue tant les nouveaux défis se
révèlent complexes et difficiles à relever.
L’UNESCO, qui a un rôle central à jouer, a réagi
dans l’immédiateté en renforçant ses programmes éducatifs et en incitant toutes
les parties prenantes à devenir plus créatives et plus agiles.
cette perspective, les gouvernements se sont engagés à mettre en place des
systèmes et des réformes permettant d’assurer
le droit à l’éducation et de généraliser l’enseignement et la qualification
pour tous. Continue reading →
Family literacy programmes can be a lifeline for disadvantaged parents and caregivers who are struggling to support their children’s learning during the pandemic, write Anna Kaiper-Marquez and Esther Prins
A recent New Yorker/ProPublica
article chronicled the immense challenges facing children in poverty who
are studying remotely during the pandemic. Shemar, a 12-year-old in Baltimore,
Maryland (USA), lived with his grandmother. Having completed little schooling
in then-segregated South Carolina, his grandmother was unable to get online or
supervise Shemar’s online schoolwork. She is not alone: millions of caregivers
– across all socio-economic strata – have struggled to monitor and guide their
children’s education during the pandemic.
What if this
grandmother and other caretakers had access to family literacy programmes where
they could further their own education, such as digital or print literacy,
while also learning how to support their children’s education? Family literacy
programmes are not a panacea to fix poverty, racism, under-funded schools, the
digital divide, and other causes of educational inequalities. Yet they do have
great potential to serve as a community resource and educational safety net for
families like Shemar’s. Continue reading →
The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing already over-stretched prison services around the world, but the crisis is also an opportunity to do things differently, particularly in prison education, write Marie Macauley and Lisa Krolak on International Day of Education in Prison
With more than 11 million people in prison worldwide and prison populations
increasing rapidly, many prisons around the world were already at crisis point,
unable to provide basic services such as education, when the pandemic struck.
The crisis has highlighted the challenges prisons face, but it is also
providing impetus for change.
Education in prison can provide prisoners with the opportunity to learn new
skills and give them a renewed sense of purpose. Research has shown that prisoners who participate in education and training
programmes are less likely to return to prison. They are also more likely to
find employment on release.
Most countries provide formal primary and secondary education and
vocational training to prisoners free of charge. Some countries provide access
to higher education, whether through distance-learning or in the prison, at the
prisoners’ own expense or financed by private grants. Prison libraries also
play a key role in enabling access to information and reading materials to
inmates. Continue reading →
While adult education has been pushed further to the margins during the pandemic, its potential contribution to the creation of healthier, happier and more inclusive societies has never been clearer, argues Jamila Razzaq
impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and learning remains
to be seen. It is clear, however, that, across the world, formal systems of
education have not been able to reach every learner in this crisis. Underlying structural
issues in terms of priorities,
roles and delivery models for education systems and services
have been exposed by the crisis. Ineffectual and under-resourced mechanisms for
alternative pathways to learning, inadequate connection between homes and
schools, missing links between education and other social services, and under-developed
practice in self-directed learning have all been highlighted in the search for
viable solutions in the current situation.
some parts of the world, learning
from home through online and distance learning became the new norm
during lockdown, as teaching and learning activity in physical classrooms became
impossible to maintain. This shift in provision has opened up the possibility
of further development and investment in alternative, non-formal and family-based
learning pathways. The solutions adopted during the pandemic can be integrated
into education systems to ensure learners have greater opportunities to learn through
multiple pathways. Continue reading →
As governments implement plans for post-pandemic recovery, the emphasis on getting children back to school risks further marginalizing adult learning and education. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we preserve a comprehensive understanding of the right to education, argues Daniel Baril
As we try, slowly
and uncertainly, to emerge from the pandemic, governments are defining the
framework for socio-economic recovery. The deconfinement of society, the reopening
of businesses, jump-starting economic growth, mass-producing a vaccine and
preparing for a possible second wave of infection are all priorities.
on the agenda too, as governments revise and resume school protocols. Restarting
formal schooling for children and young people is, without any doubt, urgent. Last
month, 275 former
world leaders, economists and business leaders
stressed the potentially catastrophic consequences of locking children and
youth out of learning for any longer, particularly for the most vulnerable among
them. Moreover, as economic recovery action plans are implemented, protecting
and increasing funding for education will be fundamental in the months and
years ahead. Continue reading →
In the post-pandemic world, institutions of higher education must find holistic approaches to re-connect with society around them, integrating a lifelong learning approach into their core missions of teaching, research and service, argue Budd Hall and Rajesh Tandon
The disruption caused by COVID-19 to the everyday life of citizens around the world over the past six months has made it clear that that the future will entail new definitions of normal life. Most dramatically affected is the formal education system, from primary and secondary to tertiary.
What also became
obvious is that local leaders, supported by local communities, found local
solutions to deal with the virus, solutions that relied on local experiences,
local knowledge and local resources. As schools shut down, and with digital
access in many communities weak, mobile smartphones, small study circles and
‘travelling’ tutors were appropriately galvanized to support the learning of
young and old alike, outside classrooms and campuses. Suddenly, the
compartments of life, study, work and leisure became meaningless divisions, and
learning, studying, cooking, caring and chatting were inter-mingled, almost
seamlessly and effortlessly. Continue reading →
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the least advantaged the hardest and highlights the harsh reality of educational inequality. As we look to rebuild, we must ensure that the global literacy challenge is finally and decisively met, writes Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development.
COVID-19 has disrupted education worldwide in an unprecedented way.
Millions of students have not been able to continue learning in schools,
universities, vocational training institutions and adult learning programmes. Many
governments responded to the pressing need to provide school children with
learning possibilities via online and distance learning. Virtual lessons were
adopted, home learning materials distributed and education provided through TV
and radio or in open air spaces. These efforts were essential and undeniably
very challenging for many governments, teachers and students alike as it
demanded a reshuffling not only of delivery mechanisms but also of roles and responsibilities.
The crisis also shows us, with a frightening clarity, what consequences a
lack of basic literacy skills can have. Some 773 million youth and adults globally
lack basic levels of literacy and numeracy, two-thirds of them female. Most of
these youth and adults face multiple disadvantages. They are often unable to
acquire decent jobs, suffer from hunger and bad health, cannot make informed
choices, and are excluded from social interaction and full participation in
society. Continue reading →