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Launch of the third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III) in Latin America and the Caribbean

10 March 2017

Eighty educational experts attended the launch of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning’s (UIL) third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III) on 15 February 2017 in Brazil, which also saw the release of the Portuguese version of the report. Topics at the event included the challenges of adult literacy and ways to strengthen Adult Learning and Education (ALE) in the country. Experts in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have been working hard towards improving adult learning and literacy in the region and implementing the 2009 Belém Framework for Action, an agreement by 144 countries to improve ALE policies, governance, financing, participation and quality.

Mixed Progress: ALE in Latin America and the Caribbean

UIL experts shared data gathered from GRALE III, which was based on monitoring surveys completed by 139 UNESCO Member States, including results from 24 LAC countries. According to the report’s findings, 83 per cent of LAC countries saw a significant improvement in their ALE policies since 2009. However, 36 per cent allocate less than 1 per cent of their national education budgets to ALE. Because ALE is improving in the region, focus should be shifted to providing more holistic approaches to ALE in order to meet the targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Generating awareness on ALE and literacy through diverse channels

A main component of the conference was the variety of presentations and speakers contributing to improving adult education in Brazil and the region. Brazil’s Ministry of Education took the opportunity to present the new cycle of Brazil Alfabetizado (Literate Brazil), the country’s national literacy programme. A presentation on the ‘Paulo Freire Medal’, given to those initiatives that successfully address the broad range of literacy challenges in different parts of the country, was also given.

The event was hosted by Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira (INEP - National Institute of Educational Research Anísio Teixeira) and coorganised and sponsored by the UNESCO Office in Brazil, which facilitated the Portuguese translation of GRALE III and was one of the driving forces in generating awareness on ALE in the LAC region. Another key partner was the Secretariat for Continuing Education, Literacy, Diversity and Inclusion (SECADI) of the Ministry of Education in Brazil.

Future discussions on ALE will take place at the CONFINTEA VI Mid-Term Review in the Republic of Korea from 25 to 27 October 2017.