Environmental problems at the global, national and local levels were escalating at such a rapid rate during the last few decades that they have emerged as a major concern of the international community, particularly of educational planners and curriculum developers.

Download: A Comparative survey of the incorporation of environmental education into school curricula (PDF 5,46 MB)

Literacy and numeracy are central to lifelong learning and sustainable development. In today’s fast-changing world, both skills are essential to achieving independence and wellbeing, and provide the basis for sustainable societies with constant socio-economic progress.

Literacy and Numeracy from a Lifelong Learning Perspective, a new policy brief by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), challenges the assumption that literacy and numeracy are stand-alone skills to be learned within a set timeframe. It argues instead for a lifelong learning perspective: investing in sustained learning and updating already acquired skills. The brief shows that for literacy and numeracy to be effective, they must be seen as a continuum of proficiency levels and not as a simple dichotomy between who is ‘literate’ and who is ‘illiterate’.

The policy brief provides a set of recommendations to support policymakers in addressing youth and adult literacy and numeracy by adopting holistic, multi-sectoral approaches within a lifelong learning perspective. This underpins the importance of encouraging a culture of learning at different levels – family, community and society – to address the manifold demands of lifelong learners.

The paper also points out various ways that governments can implement literacy and numeracy programmes. Optimal implementation of literacy programmes will not only help countries meet the 10 targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) 4, which calls for ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’, but the other 16 SDGS, as well.


Policy Brief 7 – Literacy and Numeracy from a Lifelong Learning Perspective (PDF 0.1 MB)

This report is aimed at presenting an overview of the situation of adult education for indigenous peoples in Brazil based on a significant, if not exhaustive, survey of projects in hand in this field. At present, most projects in this area comply with a conception of the indigenous right to intercultural, bilingual education, even though this may be understood in many different ways, leading to great disparities when it comes to practical experiences.

Download: Adult education and indigenous peoples in Brazil (PDF 101 KB)

The history of adult education for Aboriginal peoples in Canada is recent. Only since the 1970s has specific attention been paid to the needs of Aboriginal peoples in higher education. Not so long ago, it was a non-issue for few were allowed to go beyond 8th grade without being threatened to lose their Indian status.

Since 1972, the residential school system has been dismantled and the number of schools under Aboriginal administration has grown, as have the number of Aboriginal teachers being hired by these schools. Language classes have been introduced and cultural elements have been added to the curriculum. The number of Aboriginal students attending post-secondary institutions has increased.

Download: Adult education and indigenous peoples in Canada (PDF 198 KB)

The Sami people is an indigenous people living in the northern areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland and the Kola peninsula in Russia. Throughout history, several states have sought to control the natural resources and the people of Sápmi or Samiland, and the borders across Sápmi have been altered several times. The four countries in which the Samis live today have all included the Samis into their national education system. The Samis had to, and still have to, fight for an education which is built on their own language and culture and which provides knowledge which is relevant to them. Therefore, an analysis of adult education for Samis will not so much be an analysis of a Sami education but rather an analysis of four educational systems, their impact on the Sami people and the extent to which the Samis have managed to achieve some adaptation of these systems to their needs.

Download: Adult education and indigenous peoples in Norway (PDF 231 KB)

There are more than a hundred nationalities living in Russia. Indigenous peoples in Russia are now officially considered as 30 small-numbered nations which historically are settled in the huge territory of the North from the White sea in the west up to Bering Strait in the east. Each northern ethnic group has it own history and problems. They vary much from each other by number type of settlement, presence or absence of their own autonomy, ethnicity, geographical and climate condition, language etc. They practice a wide range of economic activities such as hunters, reindeer breeders, fishermen and gatherers. In their recent past their subsistence economies provided them with clothing, food and transportation. The social organization of the Northern indigenous peoples was based on kinship, which established the rights, duties, and responsibilities of all group members for each other. Social and economic relationships and belief systems were integrated into a worldview in which relationships between the land, the natural resources, and the human groups were inseparable. Their traditional education was based on traditional knowledge and was transmitted from generation to generation.

Download: Adult education and indigenous peoples in Russia (PDF 162 KB)

Adult education programs for indigenous peoples in The Philippines used to be the monopoly of the church, mainly the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. Indigenous peoples were given basic literacy training to enable them to write their names. Numeracy was also given importance to prevent the people from being cheated of their products by non-indigenous traders. To uplift the economic situation of the people, the church included the formation of cooperatives and training in agricultural techniques in their programmes.

Download: Adult education and indigenous peoples in the Philippines (PDF 90.6 KB)

This Agenda for the Future sets out in detail the new commitment to the development of adult learning called for by the Hamburg Declaration on Adult Learning.

Download: Adult education: the Hamburg Declaration; the Agenda for the Future (PDF 1,79 MB)

Also available in German and Portuguese.

The general objective of the Conference was to highlight the importance of adult learning and to forge a world-wide commitment to adult and continuing education in the perspective of lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is an approach to learning that involves people learning in many different environments - over large distances, in the workplace, or in non-formal settings - and throughout much of their lives. From learning basic numeracy or literacy to training on the latest software packages, people are using educational opportunities to take more control of their lives.

Download: Adult learning and the changing world of work (PDF 435 KB)

We, the representatives from 46 African countries at this preparatory Africa regional conference for CONFINTEA VI, declare our commitment to make youth and adult learning and education a right and a reality for all our people. New challenges and demands are made on Africa to master new and old situations and we voice Africa’s call to CONFINTEA VI: join and support us in this struggle for lifelong learning, sustainable development and a culture of peace. Such societal change evolves as a product of conscious citizenship and increased livelihood skills. Youth and adult learning and education are the vehicle of such change as they enable youth and adults to actively participate in this development process.


Download: African Statement on the Power of Youth and Adult Learning and Education for Africa's Development (PDF 74,5 KB)