Unlocking the potential of learning in communities
When communities come together, people learn. Community engagement in the provision of lifelong learning is of vital importance; this is why UIL contributes to the development of learning spaces, centres and networks that cater to adults and offer intergenerational learning opportunities. Through its research and advocacy work, UIL also builds the capacities of community educators and facilitators, and promotes community-based non-formal learning.
The role of community learning centres (CLCs) in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been a particular focus of UIL’s activities in recent years. Making learning spaces and environments for non-formal and adult learning and education widely available – for example, by establishing CLCs – is emphasized in the Education 2030 Framework for Action, which is why, as a member of the Partner Network driving the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), UIL encourages local communities and municipal authorities to develop community-based ESD programmes.
Institutionalizing community-based spaces, centres and networks is an effective way of addressing low literacy rates and expanding access to education and development activities for adults, young people and children, especially those who are not in education or who come from marginalized or disadvantaged parts of society. UIL has published policy briefs and handbooks focusing on this issue.
By carrying out research, developing training modules and providing training for community educators, facilitators and policy-makers, UIL enhances capacities in UNESCO Member States. UIL also supports UNESCO Member States in reviewing and developing policies and strategies to institutionalize community learning.